Mumbai: On Tuesday, keeping up its attack on the Centre's demonetisation move, Shiv Sena said the exercise has failed to unearth the "real" black money and only helped the government deflect attention from burning issues like hunger, inflation and unemployment.
The Sena also took a dig at NCP supremo Sharad Pawar over his remarks on "financial emergency" in the country, saying that he should have made the comment in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi (when they met during an event at Pune reccently).
"Due to the demonetisation decision, the government has been able to divert the attention of people from hunger, inflation, unemployment and terrorism. The government was successful in making people forget important national issues," said an editorial in the Sena mouthpiece 'Saamana'.
"Not a single big fish has been seen standing in long queues to exchange their money. This means that the real black money has not yet come out and Modi's friends (supporters of the decision) will have to accept this," the NDA partner said.
Instead of putting people in jail for seven years for depositing money in others accounts, the government should award them life imprisonment, it taunted.
Seizing on Pawar's remarks, the Sena said "It is hypocritical of Pawar to say there is financial emergency in the country, or Pawar would have made the comments in presence of Modi (in Pune). But indulging in bonhomie and then speaking against Modi outside is not good for the people."
Pawar is as much responsible for the current mess as Modi had publicly said that he has learnt political acumen from the Maratha strongman, the Sena further said.
Two days back, the NCP chief attacked the Modi government over demonetisation and Rs 98,000-crore bullet train project, saying "The country is in the grip of an economic emergency due to Modi's decision."
On 13 November, PM Modi had lauded Pawar for his 50 years of 'unbeaten innings' in electoral politics.
Speaking after inaugurating 'Sugarcane Value Chain-Vision 2025 Sugar' international conference and exhibition at Pune's Vasantdada Sugar Institute (VSI), an autonomous cane growers' body headed by Pawar, Modi had lauded the developments initiated by the NCP chief and his concern for farmers and agri sector.