Narendra Modi's demonetisation scheme on Thursday completed two years of implementation, which has sparked threats of protests from the Opposition, especially the Congress, across the nation. Congress said that it will observe a nationwide protest on Friday to mark the second anniversary of the note ban.
Political leaders across the spectrum on Thursday responded to the scheme completing two years of implementation. While the Opposition condemned the move calling it a 'dark day' for democracy and economy, finance minister Arun Jaitley said the decision to demonetise was"a key step in a chain of important decisions taken by the Government to formalise the economy."
The Congress said that the cost and "destruction" caused by demonetisation was endured by every Indian, barring a "few crony capitalist friends of Narendra Modi."
"Demonetisation was a black day for our democracy and our economy," the party tweeted.
Calling the exercise "ill-fated and ill-thought", former prime minister Manmohan Singh also expressed his concerns in a statement. "The havoc that it unleashed on the Indian economy and society is now evident to everyone. Notebandi impacted every single person, regardless of age, gender, religion, occupation or creed," he said.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday said that demonetisation was a "disaster" for the country on its second anniversary. The chief minister said she had been describing it as a "dark day" since demonetisation was announced. She tweeted:
— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) November 8, 2018
The Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPM) called the scheme "the biggest scam" that India has seen. The party tweeted:
Today is the 2nd anniversary of #DemonetisationDisaster - the biggest scam in the history of our Nation when Modi unleashed #DestructionByDemonetisation of our Economy! pic.twitter.com/5T48vKR3go — CPI (M) (@cpimspeak) November 8, 2018
The party also said on Twitter that the scheme has had disastrous consequences on the economy, and imposed unprecedented burdens on common people.
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal echoed the CMP's claims of it being a scam. He tweeted: "Though the list of financial scams of Modi govt is endless, demonetisation was a self-inflicted deep wound on Indian economy which even two years later remains a mystery why the country was pushed into such a disaster?"
Congress data analyst Praveen Chakravarty said that the anniversary is a "grim" one, "to remind us the need for genuine, competent economic expertise to steer India’s $2.6 trillion economy and the catastrophic consequences of quackery in economic policymaking."
On the opposite side of the spectrum, the BJP was tweeting out statistics depicting the success of demonetisation. Using the hashtag
#CorruptCongressFearsDemo, the saffron party said that the scheme resulted in stringent actions against corruption and black money, higher tax compliance, and unprecedented growth in IT returns.
Jaitley supported demonetisation, saying that it "is a key step in a chain of important decisions taken by the Government to formalise the economy."
In a blog post on his official Facebook page, Jaitley said demonetisation resulted in "more formalisation, more revenue, more resources for the poor, better infrastructure, and a better quality of life" for citizens. He said that the scheme curbed cash transactions, which can easily bypass the banking system and enable its possessors to evade tax.
Union minister Piyush Goyal also expressed his support for demonetisation, saying that it was part of a series of decisive and bold steps by the prime minister to "free India from the shackles of corruption."
Atul Bhatkhalkar, the general secretary for the Maharashtra unit of the BJP, lauded the scheme as well.
#Demonetisation led to a digital #India. Cashless economy gave citizens the ease of transactions, no need to carry cash, no danger of stealing & thus resulting in no black money. #CorruptCongressFearsDemo #Demonetisation pic.twitter.com/V8C4hl8inM
— Atul Bhatkhalkar (@BhatkhalkarA) November 8, 2018
With inputs from PTI
Updated Date: Nov 08, 2018 12:27:12 IST