New Delhi: It is already fifty days since the announcement of demonetization by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The prime Minister who had shocked the entire world by announcing that Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes will cease to be legal tenders in the country, had promised that the pain caused by demonetization will be over after fifty days.
But nothing seems to have changed. Everything seems as it was on 9th November, the first day post demonetization announcement. The queues outside banks are as long as they were on November 9 and people’s desperation to get hold of their own money from banks is as bad as it was early last months. Dozens of people have died from shock or other multiple issues since then.
The disappointment of not getting their own money badly needed in case of illness, death, marriage of their kids and in daily needs is an issue that people are finding hard to swallow.
In the meantime opposition parties have condemned the government for its lack of planning, haphazard implementation and uselessly making the entire nation suffer from notebandi. If the Congress demanded a White Paper on the November 8 note ban, the CPI-M said Modi had a lot to hide. On the 50th day of the dramatic announcement on demonetisation, the government on Wednesday approved an ordinance to make possession of demonetised notes beyond March 31, 2017, a criminal offence. The move attracted flak from the opposition.
Meanwhile daring Modi to disclose the quantum of black money seized after demonetisation, Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi put forth a charter of demands and sought a White Paper on the currency ban. “Modi ji should reveal how much black money has been recovered since November 8,” he said. He questioned Modi on the economic loss to the nation on account of demonetisation and put forth a list of posers.
Congress Vice President said, “How many jobs and livelihood have been lost since this policy has been announced? How many lives have been lost due to demonetisation? Why has the government not paid any compensation to the families of the deceased…Why were experts, economists or the Reserve Bank of India not consulted before unleashing this draconian policy upon the people…We want to know who is the thief? Modi ji has performed demonetisation ‘yagna’ for 50 families and one per cent super-rich people of the country”.
Lalu Prasad Yadav is also upping the ante. On Wednesday, saw Bihar’s ruling Rashtriya Janata Dal also held sit-ins in state capital Patna and district headquarters against demonetisation, with party chief Lalu Prasad Yadav accusing Modi of cheating the country’s people. “Modi has derailed the economy through demonetisation, which had led to increased job losses,” Lalu Prasad said in Patna and urged the people to remove Modi to save the country.
On the other hand assailing Modi over demonetisation, Communist Party of India-Marxist General Secretary Sitaram Yechury said the Prime Minister “has a lot to hide”. “Modi doesn’t face Parliament where people’s representatives can question him on behalf of the masses. He doesn’t take any questions from the media… he doesn’t answer any serious questions from the public which come through the RTI (Right to Information Act). “Why is Modi so scared of questions? One, he clearly doesn’t have answers. Two, he has a lot to hide,” said the Left leader. Yechury also slammed the Centre for its “ordinance raj”.
There is no denying that ordinances have become rule rather than aberration. “The government has no option but take the ordinance route because unless the law is changed, demonetisation is not legal. Ideally, this law should have been brought in Parliament in the winter session. “The government is increasingly relying on ordinance because it doesn’t want to be answerable. We are opposed to this ordinance raj,” he said. Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) called Modi “anti-people” and asked him to take responsibility for the people’s hardships. AAP leader Ashutosh said over 100 people had lost their lives and hundreds of thousands lost their livelihoods over the last 50 days since demonetisation.