Abdul Bari Masoud | Caravan Daily
NEW DELHI — Prime Minister Narendra Modi might have wiped out the nightmarish Demonetisation fiasco from his memory, but the main opposition Congress on Friday held nationwide protests against this “ill-advised” decision which took a “heavy toll on life and the national economy.” The country was yet to come out of its ill-effects, the Congress party said and termed the Demonetisation announcement day as a “black day” in the history of India’s democracy and economy.
It was on November 8 in 2016 that Prime Minister Modi demonetised the high-value Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes in what came as a big surprise to the nation. Congress president Sonia Gandhi, in a statement on Friday, termed it the ‘Tughlaki blunder of Demonetisation’ inflicted by a “tyrannical government hell bent on hurting the livelihood and the lives of the people.”
She said Demonetisation was perhaps the single most-appropriate metaphor for the BJP’s ill-conceived ‘governance model’. “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,” she said.
Meanwhile, holding a special briefing at the party headquarters, senior spokesperson Ajay Maken said Congress workers protested in the streets across the country against the Demonetization step. “The way this scheme got implemented, it turned out to be a monumental management failure, and a case of organised loot and legalised plunder of the common man,” he said.
He said as many as 125 people lost their lives in the ensuing chaos. The PM had promised his step would wipe out black money, eliminate fake currency and purge terrorism and Naxalism. “But, not a single target was achieved in the past three years, and instead there was an increase in terror incidents,” Maken said and added that, in order to justify the measure, the Modi government had changed the goal post eight times.
He said the Modi government even told the Supreme Court that Rs.3,00,000 crore of black money will be eliminated and this would not return into the system as a result of the special step. “Demonetisation was a self-inflicted wound on the Indian economy. Even three years later, it remains a mystery as to why the country was pushed into such a disaster,” he said.
Earlier, the party’s youth wing, Indian Youth Congress, organised a protest outside the RBI headquarters here and sought an apology from the Modi government for “ruining and wrecking the Indian economy”. The protest was led by IYC President Srinivas BV, who said demonetisation led to disruptions in the economic and industrial activities. The protest march started from the IYC headquarters at 5, Raisina Marg, New Delhi, and concluded outside RBI headquarters. Police detained Srinivas and other youth leaders along with hundreds of protesters.