The opposition on Thursday stepped up attack on the Narendra Modi government over demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes. The Samajwadi Party dubbed the move as anarchist and hasty while the BSP said the country is facing “financial emergency”.
Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal too lashed out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi and challenged him to make public the names of the 648 Indians with Swiss bank accounts whose details, he said, were given to New Delhi during the earlier United Progressive Alliance rule.
“The government has spread anarchy in the entire country. The common man is not even able to buy products of daily use,” Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh told the media in Lucknow.
“People are facing problem; marriages may have stopped due to the decision,” he said and demanded that the government should keep the decision in abeyance for a few days to allow people to make arrangements for their daily needs.
Terming the decision “anti-poor”, the SP chief said the government announced it “in haste”.
The former Defence Minister alleged the decision was politically motivated. “The Bharatiya Janata Party has taken this decision because of (coming 2017 assembly) elections,” added Yadav.
Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief and former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati too minced no words in flaying the central government for the move.
Calling Modi a “past master” in hoodwinking people and deflecting attention from the real problems, Mayawati said the “problems people across the country are facing due to this decision are immense.”
“The decision is not in public interest; it is in self-interest,” she told the media in Lucknow and reminded the people of the “dark days of the Emergency”.
Almost 90 per cent of the population was fed up with the Modi government as most of its policies were “neither clear nor in public interest”, she said while asserting that the income tax raids on the rich would have yielded better results.
Insisting that the demonetisation move will not check corruption or black money, Kejriwal asserted that the problem of black money could be tackled if Modi ordered the arrest of 648 Indians alleged to have maintained Swiss bank accounts.
“But you won’t arrest them because they are your friends,” he said.
The Aam Aadmi Party leader said he had spoken to financial experts and no one had been able to explain how the black money could be fought by axing Rs 1,000 notes and introducing Rs 2,000 notes in their place.
“Do you find black-marketers in the queues? Or rich people? Those in the queues are traders, rickshaw-pullers, autorickshaw drivers, farmers and workers. Are these the people with black money?”
Kejriwal alleged that the BJP’s “friends” knew about the development in advance and had managed to send their money abroad or bought land or gold with the demonetised currency before it was declared an illegal tender.
He said the Bharatiya Janata Party had also made “arrangements” in view of the coming Uttar Pradesh elections. “The sufferers are the ordinary people.”
“Had the Prime Minister totally abolished Rs 500 and 1,000 notes, we would have supported the step,” added Kejriwal.