Criticizing the Centre for “foisting crisis” on farmers, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Friday said the “ill-planned” demonetisation could have an adverse impact on the economy. Following a Cabinet meeting on Friday, Akhilesh demanded that farmers be allowed to use old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes to purchase fertilisers and other resources needed for agriculture. He also wanted new notes to be supplied to cooperative banks so that farmers can be facilitated. Relaxation is being sought in hospitals and also for farmers because the government will be at a loss if any business comes to a halt, he said.
Watch: Akhilesh Yadav Bats For Farmers, Says ‘Not Natural Disaster But One Created By Centre’
Alleging that the Centre did not help farmers when they were affected by hailstorms, leaving the Samajwadi Party government in UP to provide relief to the community from its own exchequer, Akhilesh said: “Ye daivi apada nahi hai, yeh sarkar ka banaya sankat hai (This is not a natural calamity. This is a crisis created by the government)… As the crisis has been created by the central government, it should give relief as well… The BJP has the most intelligent leaders, they should find a solution to this crisis.”
Alleging that the decision to ban old notes was taken in haste by the Centre, Akhilesh said: “Aapne tayari nahi ki. ATM machines taiyar nahi ki. (You did not prepare… even ATM machines were not equipped for new notes)…” Akhilesh said that Centre government can either reply in the Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha “but it would have to answer to the public”. “People want to know how many new notes are available in banks and how much time would it take for things to return to normal…,” he added.
On the Centre’s stand that demonetisation will check corruption, Akhilesh said cases of graft involving new currency notes are already making news. “We have also come to know that corruption through new notes has already started. Such reports are surfacing in newspapers and especially on the social media,” he said, claiming that the goal of unearthing black money and weeding out fake currency notes will not be achieved.
“Earlier, it was said that it would take a few weeks… 50 days, but the government must clarify whether it would take six months or an year because by that time, farmers would be ruined… It would also affect the economy, pushing it backward, bring about unemployment and affect the small-scale sector, factory workers and daily wagers the most,” the CM added. Akhilesh claimed if decisions are also taken in such a haste regarding the neighbouring country, then it would affect the entire nation, he added.
Targeting BJP national president Amit Shah over his visit to Azamgarh on Thursday, Akhilesh said: “A senior BJP leader had visited Azamgarh recently but instead of informing what they have done, he targeted the SP government. We Samajwadis gave medical college, road, 24-hour electricity in urban and 18-hour power in rural areas. Would they give 26 hours of electricity?”
Akhilesh also attacked BSP chief Mayawati for regularly calling press conferences. “She is feeling uncomfortable because she has realised that SP was coming back to power in UP next year.”
“You should sometimes ask the ‘pathar wali sarkar’ what all she has done for the state… You meet her every day,” he asked mediapersons while referring to stone statues of Mayawati and elephants, which is her party’s election symbol.
Parrying questions on infighting in the ruling SP, Akhilesh said that irrespective of the feud in the family, everyone would come together under the party symbol of bicycle. “Pariwar mein jitna jhagda hai… par chunao chinnha to cycle rahegi (There may be dispute within the family but the elections will be fought under the symbol of cycle),” he added.
On whether those sacked from the party will return to SP like his uncle Ram Gopal Yadav, the CM said: “I can discuss it only within the family and party.”
Asked about the second phase of his Vikas Rath Yatra, Akhilesh said while leaders of other parties are failing to attract crowd “because of long queues outside banks and ATMs” his yatra would draw huge crowds.