Seeking to reassure the common people distressed over government’s sudden announcement to withdraw high denomination currency, BJP President Amit Shah on Friday said that only “anti-social elements” will be upset over the decision and common people are ready to face "slight inconvenience" for the betterment of the nation.
Reiterating that there will be no inquiry on people depositing up to Rs 2.5 lakh in demonetised currency in banks, he said that the law-abiding common man had nothing to fear.
"The middle class, the poor and small traders will face no problems," he said, adding that there is no need to rush as the currency notes will be accepted till December end.
Amit Shah was addressing a press conference on the government’s surprise move to demonetise higher denomination currency in the country.
Shah said that the Narendra Modi government's move to demonetise high value currency notes would greatly benefit the economy and urged the people to join the campaign against corruption.
"The Narendra Modi government has embarked on a campaign to end corruption. I appeal to people to join in and give it speed," Shah said.
Admitting that people had to wait in queues outside ATMs to get fresh cash in view of the demonetisation, he urged people to extend their cooperation. "The step which has been taken will greatly benefit the economy," he said. He appealed to the people to remain patient over the next few days so the transition could be implemented smoothly.
“Demonetisation has dealt a severe blow to Naxalites, terror groups, hawala operators and anti-national elements… Common people and honest taxpayers have no reason to worry,” Shah said. Rubbishing the opposition claims that the move will hurt small businessmen, housewives and the poor, Shah claimed that the government has already made provisions that target only those operating against the law.
The Congress party had alleged that a majority of poor daily waged labourers, unemployed, housewives and farmers will not have bank accounts or the means to bear the brunt of the abrupt move.
Responding to this Shah said that the government’s decision was well planned and the Jan Dhan Yojna was a precursor to this move. He also added that accounting for the poor population who is not yet linked to the banking system, the government had already made provisions to disburse new currency notes through Post Offices across the nation.
He urged the media to avoid furling panic amid people.
Lashing out at the Opposition for criticising the government’s move to pull back Rs 1000 and Rs 500, Shah said that the opposition should explain their distress at a move that simply targets black money operators and terror groups that were blossoming on fake currency.
Challenging his political opponents to raise the issue in front of the people during elections, Shah said that the parties have only exposed themselves. “If the government is taking a decision to crop out black money from our election process, why is the AAP, Congress and SP troubled over it,” Shah asked. He asked the opposition leaders to explain their objections to the nation.
Taking on TMC president and Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, he said that he fails to understand her grievances on an issue that will only help bring unregulated cash into the mainstream economy. Shah also hit out at Mayawati, who had termed the government’s move an “economic emergency” imposed by government.
“Such a move can only be an economic emergency for the BSP only,” Shah said.
He also thanked the Bank employees across the nation who were giving up their holidays and working beyond the normal hours to facilitate the transition.
Shah also said that the BJP did not bring these changes in view of the upcoming elections in major states as preparations were underway for a long time. When questioned on the timing of implementation of the move, Shah said, “In this country, some or the other elections are always round the corner almost every year.” He however added that the way the opposition parties were reacting will definitely benefit the BJP in the elections.
With inputs from IANS