NEW DELHI: With two senior BJP members criticizing government’s demonetisation move, the Congress has claimed that it was the first to warn about the adverse impact note ban would have on country’s economy.
“Just a few weeks after demonetisation, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi had slammed it as the biggest scam ever. Almost a year later, BJP’s own members are echoing the same words,” the Congress party said in a statement released on Wednesday.
Former Union ministers Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie have slammed the government for demonetisation move. While Yashwant Sinha called it an “unmitigated disaster” and Arun Shourie criticised the move by billing it as the “The largest money laundering scheme ever”.
The Congress said that the BJP leaders Sinha have the benefit of hindsight now, and the RBI figures at their disposal.
In contrast, Rahul Gandhi and former PM Manmohan Singh were among the first to call out the demonetisation move as a scam that would cripple the economy.
On the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), the party pointed out that the concerns pointed out by Shourie were already raised by Congress vice-president in public rallies .
“Shourie said that Small and medium enterprises, the transport sector, the entire agricultural sector has been hit worst, both by demonetisation and the complex implementation of GST…Yet another point that the Congress as a party and Rahul as its leader have been making in various public rallies in the country,” the party’s statement said.
“Reinforcing the point, Shourie called the current BJP regime a Government of two-and-a-half persons. Rahul has been speaking for long on the economic blunders and governance oversights of the (Narendra) Modi administration but has always faced a cheap and personal backlash,” the party asserted.
On Tuesday, Shourie likened demonetisation to suicide, saying the latter too is “a bold step”. He also called the Narendra Modi-led government as “government of two-and-a-half persons”.
“This is a government by ilhaam (revelation). The PM has the “ilhaam” one night that demonetisation should be done and he does it. In any case it was a bold step. I have to remind you suicide too is a bold step,” Shourie said in an interview to a news channel when asked why in his view the government went in for demonetisation. He said, “It was the largest money-laundering scheme ever, conceived and implemented by the government.” It was an idiotic jolt, he said, “every one who had black converted it into white”.
PM Modi announced demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes on November 8 last year.
“Which argument (offered by the government in defence of demonetisation) today survives?
Black money? All of it turned white. Terrorism? Terrorists are still coming into India,” he said. Shourie also took a dig at BJP president Amit Shah, terming him “that famous economist” and underscoring that official figures cannot be brushed under the carpet.