On the first-anniversary of demonetization, Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi strongly criticised Prime-Minister Narendra Modi saying, anger might have brought him to power but it will never create jobs.
“Demonetisation is a tragedy. We stand with millions of honest Indians, whose lives and livelihoods were destroyed by PM’s thoughtless act,” said Rahul Gandhi in a tweet.
Stating that Modi has damaged India by converting anger created by joblessness and lack of economic opportunity into communal hatred, Rahul said, “He (Modi) has chosen to hide behind a shallow, hate-filled political narrative. Anger might have brought Mr Modi to power but it will never create jobs or fix India’s institutions.”
The rise of democratically elected autocrats, such as Modi, is driven by two factors: a massive increase in connectivity and its profound impact on institutions; and, second, China’s dominance of the global job market, he added.
The Congress leader also took on the government over Goods and Service Tax (GST) saying, a hastily imposed and poorly conceptualised goods and services tax dealt another blow to our economy.
“Bureaucratic and complex, it has devastated livelihoods, creating a modern-day ‘Licence Raj’ that imposes rigid controls and gives vast powers to government officials,” Rahul wrote in the article.
The Congress and other Opposition parties have also planned countrywide protests in the form of processions, rallies, and candle-light marches to mark the first demonetization anniversary on Wednesday, as their leaders would observe it as ‘black day’
The Congress, which described the note ban decision as the ‘biggest scam’ and ‘the largest government-abetted money laundering scheme’, has asked all its state units to organise protests, processions and marches to mark the day.
It has also asked all its leaders to participate in such protests and ‘strongly’ highlight the demerits of the decision, which it said is a ‘colossal and completely avoidable failure’.
The Congress, on its website, also put out an article on demonetization, dubbing it as a “Modi-Made Disaster”.
“Even the undeclared emergency in India’s newsrooms have failed to contain the news spreading like wildfire through India. Demonetisation was a colossal and completely avoidable failure and the largest government-abetted money laundering scheme in history,” the article said.
It further alleged that demonetization failed to curb black money as 99% of banned Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes were returned. This was expected as black money is not usually stored in currency, but property, bullion and more easily convertible currency like dollars.
Meanwhile, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley contested Congress leader Manmohan Singh for calling demonetization an ‘organized loot’, insisting the exercise was an ‘ethical drive and a moral step’ that made corruption difficult.
The loot is what happened in 2G scam, Commonwealth games and allocation of coal blocks, whereas demonetization was an economic exercise based on ethical and moral rationales, Jaitley told reporters here.
“An anti-black money drive is (an) ethical drive, a moral step. And what is morally and ethically correct has to be politically correct,” the minister said, targeting the former prime minister.