"Didn't Slay Evils... Was A Disaster": Priyanka Gandhi On Demonetisation Anniversary

Earlier this year, in reply to a RTI request, the RBI board said it had warned the centre about the short-term negative effects of demonetisation on the economy's growth, which slowed to 5.6 per cent in the quarter through June 2017

'Didn't Slay Evils... Was A Disaster': Priyanka Gandhi On Demonetisation Anniversary

Congress's Priyanka Gandhi Vadra attacked the Modi government over its 2016 demonetisation move

New Delhi: 

On the third anniversary of the centre's demonetisation policy, leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government, describing demonetisation as a "disaster" that almost destroyed the Indian economy as opposed to the "slayer of all evils" it was pitched as by Prime Minister Modi and the ruling BJP. The Congress leader's criticism came a day after global credit agency Moody's lowered its outlook on India's ratings to "negative" and a month after it also lowered its growth forecast for the economy, which is going through a severe and prolonged slump amid low demand.

"3 years since #Demonetisation and every claim made by the government and those hailing it as a slayer of all evils has been turned on its head. It proved to be a disaster that has all but destroyed our economy," Priyanka Gandhi Vadra tweeted this morning, in both English and Hindi.

"Anyone want to claim responsibility?" she asked.

The Congress has reminded Prime Minister Modi of the disastrous fallouts of his demonetisation policy every year since it was introduced. Last year Randeep Surjewala, was among those who led the charge, calling it "the biggest scam in independent India".

Three years ago today the Prime Minister announced that Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes would cease to be legal tender, with immediate effect. The move, announced without consulting the Reserve Bank of India's board, invalidated nearly 90 per cent of the currency in circulation.

At the time PM Modi said one of key objectives of demonetisation, a key poll promise of the BJP in 2014 Lok Sabha polls, was to flush out black money stashes. The Prime Minister also repeatedly declared, at election rallies across the country, that recovered black money would be deposited into the accounts of law-abiding Indians.

Demonetisation sparked widespread protests after it led to an acute shortage of cash in hand for large sections of civil society, particularly those struggling with poverty and working in the unorganised sector.

According to Congress leader and former Finance Minister P Chidambaram, the economy took a drastic hit after the cash crunch; growth dropped to 5.6 per cent in the quarter through June 2017.

Earlier this year, in a reply to a RTI request, the RBI board said it had warned the centre about the short-term negative effects on growth and that demonetisation would have no impact on the campaign against black money. The board said it had met less than three hours before PM Modi's announcement on November 8, 2016.

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra isn't the only opposition leader to mark demonetisation's third anniversary with a critical tweet. Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee reminded Twitter users she had warned that demonetisation would "ruin the economy and the lives of millions".

"Today is the third anniversary of #DeMonetisationDisaster. Within minutes of announcement, I had said that it will ruin the economy and the lives of millions. Renowned economists, common people & all experts now agree. Figures from RBI have also shown it was a futile exercise...", the Trinamool Congress chief said.

In his tweet, Congress leader Ahmed Patel described demonetisation as "the single most disastrous decision in the history of the Indian economy".

In a series of tweets in Hindi the Congress targeted the centre over a move it said had a "devastating" impact on the economy.

"There has been no decision taken by any government in India's history that has caused such a devastating impact to our economy as #demonetisation Three years after that fateful night the effects of this disastrous policy are still felt amongst various sectors. #NotebandiSeMandiTak," the party wrote on its account.

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