New Delhi: In a double-barrel attack, Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Thursday called demonetization a scam intended to benefit “15-20 crony capitalist friends” of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and accused him of lying in the Rafale deal. Gandhi, who addressed a hurriedly called press conference at the AICC headquarters, alleged that demonetization was a deliberate attack on the people aimed at helping the richest Indians and the most corrupt people to convert their black money into white.
Latching on to the RBI report on Wednesday that said that 99.3 per cent of demonetized money had come back into the system, he questioned the rationale behind the decision to cancel all Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes suddenly in November 2016. None of the stated objectives like the elimination of black money and fake currency, an abolition of corruption and curbing terrorism had been achieved, he said.
“Demonetization was not a mistake. It was an attack on you. You were attacked with an axe. Do not be under any illusion. It was not a mistake. This was to destroy you deliberately and open the way for big businesses like Amazon,” he said in reference to small and medium businesses that were hurt the most by the note ban. Accusing Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley of destroying the economy, Gandhi said the NPAs have touched over Rs 12 lakh crore under NDA against Rs 2.5 lakh crore during UPA which was manageable.
“Why did he (Prime Minister Narendra Modi) do it (demonetization)? His 15-20 big industrialist friends had accumulated NPAs to the tune of thousands of crore. So through demonetization your (common man’s) money was taken out of your pocket and put directly in the pockets of the country’s biggest crony capitalists,” Gandhi told the media. He said Modi’s “friends” turned black money into white after the note ban.
Gandhi said demonetization was “a huge scam” and slowly evidence was coming out and more will come out. Stepping up his attack on the Rafale fighter jet deal, he said Jaitley was writing “lengthy” blogs but why was the government silent on the demand for a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) probe into the issue. “Jaitley is scared to ask the PM about constituting a JPC.” (IANS)