On the third anniversary of demonetisation on Friday, Opposition parties attacked the Narendra Modi government over its decision to scrap high-value currency notes.
While Congress chief Sonia Gandhi said demonetisation was a “Tughlaqi blunder” inflicted by a “tyrannical government” that wiped out over 1 crore jobs, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said it led to an “economic disaster”. The SP and BSP said demonetisation and the GST resulted in economic slowdown.
Union minister Smriti Irani, meanwhile, hailed the move as a milestone. “8 November marks the biggest crackdown against the corrupt & celebration of the honest – PM @narendramodi Ji’s historic decision of Demonetisation is a milestone in India’s fight against corruption resulting in a transparent economy & increased tax compliance,” she tweeted.
Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi likened the move to a terror attack. “It’s three years since the demonetisation terror attack that devastated the Indian economy, taking many lives, wiping out lakhs of small businesses and leaving millions of Indians unemployed. Those behind this vicious attack have yet to be brought to justice,” he tweeted.
“… demonetisation is perhaps the single most appropriate metaphor for the BJP’s ill-conceived ‘governance model’. It was a preposterous measure fuelled by false propaganda, which did untold damage to innocent and trusting countrymen,” Sonia said.
Sonia said Modi had promised to wipe out black money, eliminate fake currency and purge terrorism and Naxalism. “…the PM added the objective of abolition of cash currency usage and replacing it with a digital economy. Three years later, Modi has failed spectacularly on all these counts,” she said.
“It is now widely acknowledged as a herculean blunder by independent economists and taught, across the world, as a cautionary tale of ‘what governments should not do’. Yet, despite all the empty rhetoric about holding himself accountable, the Prime Minister and his colleagues never once took responsibility for — or even acknowledged — this faux pas…” she said.
“Today is the third anniversary of #DeMonetisationDisaster. Within minutes of announcement, I had said it will ruin the economy and the lives of millions. Renowned economists, common people & all experts now agree. Figures from RBI have also shown it was a futile exercise,” TMC chief Mamata Banerjee tweeted. “Economic disaster started on that day and look where it has reached now. Banks stressed, economy in a complete slump. All affected…”
SP chief Akhilesh Yadav said, “The note ban ruined the economy and led to unemployment. Most farmers are committing suicide due to note ban and imposition of GST. The informal sector has been affected…”
Akhilesh was speaking in Lucknow at the birthday celebrations of Khajanchi, who was born when his mother was standing in a bank queue to exchange demonetised notes.
BSP chief Mayawati tweeted: “The Central government of the BJP without any preparation and in a hurry announced demonetisation. The negative impact… has come to the fore over the last three years. The note ban is the main cause for increasing unemployment and the worsening economy of the country…”