Accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi of taking away livelihoods through demonetisation, Congress president Sonia Gandhi Friday said her party would ensure that the nation never forgets or forgives the “Tughlaqi blunder”.
Calling demonetisation an appropriate metaphor for the BJP’s “ill-conceived governance model”, Sonia Gandhi said, “No matter how much the Modi government may try and evade responsibility for this ludicrous and short-sighted measure, the nation and its people will ensure that they are held accountable.”
On the third anniversary of demonetisation, Sonia also said that PM Modi and his ministers have never taken responsibility for the “faux pas” that claimed over 120 lives and proved a death knell for medium and small businesses.
On November 8, 2016, PM Modi, in a televised address, had announced scrapping of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes as part of a crusade against black money. The sudden withdrawal of notes led to a liquidity shortage and GDP growth declining close to 1.5 per cent.
“The prime minister and his colleagues have stopped speaking about demonetisation since 2017, hoping that the nation will forget. Unfortunately for them, Congress will ensure that neither the nation nor history, forgives or forgets. Because unlike the BJP, we serve in the ‘National Interest’,” Sonia Gandhi said in a statement.
“It was a preposterous measure fuelled by false propaganda, which did untold damage to innocent and trusting countrymen. This, in a nutshell, is a summary of the Modi Government’s approach to Governance,” Sonia Gandhi said.
Asserting that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had confirmed that 99.3 per cent of all the devalued Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes returned to the banking system, Sonia Gandhi said, “Fake notes turned out to be a miniscule and negligible percentage of the notes in circulation (again, as per the RBI).”
“The simple question being asked by every Indian is — what did the Demonetisation achieve? What it did instead, was to wipe out over one crore jobs from the economy (and still counting), take the unemployment rate to a 45 year high, shaved two full percentage points off GDP growth and ensured that India’s international rating moved from ‘stable’ to ‘negative’. 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’,” Sonia further said.
Earlier in the day, former Congress president Rahul Gandhi and and Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra also hit out at PM Modi for his demonetisation decision. While, Rahul Gandhi compared the note ban to a “terror attack” that took “many lives, wiping out lakhs of small businesses”, Priyanka claimed that the note ban was a “slayer of all evils”, and proved to be a “disaster” that has all but destroyed the economy.