Opposition attacks Modi over demonetisation (Lead)
New Delhi : The opposition on Thursday attacked the Narendra Modi government for unleashing "destruction" on every citizen of India with its 2016 demonetisation move that only helped the Prime Minister's cronies.
On the second anniversary of the ban on Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes, the Congress called it a "black day" for the democracy and national economy, while the CPI-M termed it the "biggest scam in the history".
"The cost and destruction by demonetisation were endured by every citizen of this country other than few crony capitalist friends of PM Modi. Demonetisation was a black day for our democracy and our economy," the Congress tweeted.
Senior Congress leader and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh urged the Centre to restore certainty and visibility in its economic policies.
The former Finance Minister in a statement asked the current NDA regime not to indulge in any further unorthodox, short-term economic measures that could cause any more uncertainty in the economy and financial markets.
"Today marks the second anniversary of the ill-fated and ill-thought demonetisation... The havoc that it unleashed on the Indian economy and society is now evident to everyone.
"Notebandi (demonetisation) impacted every single person, regardless of age, gender, religion, occupation or creed," Singh said in a statement.
Another former UPA Minister Anand Sharma asked whether Modi would apologise for wrecking the "economy, destroying jobs and lives".
"People of India recall the pain and sufferings inflicted by an insensitive and reckless decision of PM Narendra Modi demonetising 86 per cent of our currency.
"With 99 per cent of currency back with RBI, will PM Modi apologise for calling that Black money, proceeds of crime and corruption and used to fund terrorism? Wrecking our economy destroying jobs and lives.
"Two years after the unforgivable and autocratic decision of demonetisation that wiped out almost two per cent of India's GDP Modi wants more -- 3,60,000 crore from the Reserve Bank of India reserves. This must be resisted," he said.
The Communist Party of India-Marxist recalled November 8, 2016, as the "biggest scam in the history of our nation when Modi unleashed destruction by demonetisation of our economy"
CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury blamed Modi for destroying "the economy, lives and livelihoods".
"Modi and his minions claimed demonetisation will end black money, finish corruption, terminate terrorism, and bring only digital transactions. Two years later, Modi is silent. The truth is that he single-handedly destroyed the economy, lives and livelihoods."
Aam Aadmi Party head and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also called it a "deep wound on the Indian economy".
"Though the list of financial scams of Modi government is endless, demonetisation was a self-inflicted, deep wound on Indian economy which, even two years later, remains a mystery why the country was pushed into such a disaster?" he tweeted.
Loktantrik Janata Dal leader Sharad Yadav also attacked the Centre for the rising unemployment.
"Now every citizen has understood that it was not a historical blunder which has ruined every house but it was a decision to benefit only a few capitalists friends of BJP.
"Virtually this government has inter-alia finished the businesses and increased unemployment," he tweeted.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee called it a 'dark day'.
"From the moment it was announced I said so. Renowned economists, common people and all experts now all agree.
"The government cheated our nation with this big demonetisation scam. It ruined the economy and the lives of millions. People will punish those who did this," she said.
In a sudden move that took everyone by surprise, Modi had on this day in 2016, announced a ban on the currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000.