Hailing Manmohan Singh’s critical speech on demonetisation in Parliament, Delhi Congress today said the Modi government should have at least consulted the former Prime Minister before taking such a major decision, as he is an “economist of international repute”. “Manmohan Singh is not just a senior politician but also a world-renowned economist, a former RBI Governor and an ex-Finance Secretary. He brought the country out of a difficult economic period and helped usher in liberalisation in 1991. And before taking such a big step, he was not consulted,” DPCC chief Ajay Maken told reporters at the Delhi Congress headquarters.
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Singh in his speech in the Rajya Sabha castigated the government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the move, saying its implementation was a “monumental management failure” and a case of “organised loot and legalised plunder”.
The former prime minister, who spoke in the presence of Modi, also said the decision will result in decline of GDP by 2 per cent, it being an “under-estimate”.
Maken said the Delhi Congress, taking the lead from Singh, has taken 11 major points from his speech, which would used in pamphlets that would distributed to people tomorrow.
“We will make pamphlets, in English and Hindi, bearing these 11 high-points from his speech. And, these material would then be distributed to people standing in queues at banks and ATMs to educate them,” Maken said.
On the sidelines, when asked, if the government had cornered itself as a result of this issue, he said, “The government was already cornered post the demonetisation move, and, now Dr Singh’s speech has proved to be the last nail in their coffin.”
Singh’s words have found currency with NDA ally Shiv Sena, with its chief Uddhav Thackeray, today dubbing the move as “extortion of common man” and asking the BJP to take the former Prime Minister words on the issue seriously as it came from a “renowned economist”.
“All parties should rise above party lines and support it, and the PM must consult with Dr Singh to deal with the issue,” Maken said. He said the DPCC will release a white paper on demonetisation — ‘Notes pe Charcha’ — on Saturday.
“For November 28’s Jan Akrosh Diwas, we are going to hold a meeting this evening to draw up plans for the protest, as to whether it would be district-level or state-level,” he said.
Referring to those saying that the move which was doing harm and creating distrust in the short run was good in the long run, Singh quoted noted economist John Maynard Keynes to say that “in the long run, all of us are dead”.
“If Modi had a big heart, or had he done a bit of adjustment instead of taking all decisions by himself alone, he could have consulted Dr Singh, but he lost the opportunity to do so,” Maken alleged.