"If I Was Prime Minister...": Rahul Gandhi On Notes Ban In Malaysia

Congress president Rahul Gandhi said he would have thrown the proposal to demonetise high-value currency notes into the dustbin if he was the Prime Minister.

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'If I Was Prime Minister...': Rahul Gandhi On Notes Ban In Malaysia

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Congress president Rahul Gandhi has been critical of PM Narendra Modi's demonetisation decision.

NEW DELHI: 

Highlights

  1. Rahul Gandhi was asked how he would have implemented notes ban
  2. He said he would have thrown file for notes ban "into the dustbin"
  3. He made the remarks during a 5-day trip to Southeast Asian countries
Rahul Gandhi, at an interaction with members of the Indian community in Malaysia, took a stinging swipe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi's sudden decision to demonetise high-value currency notes in 2016. The Congress president has been a consistent critic of the notes ban decision and the way it was implemented, forcing millions of Indians to stand in snaking lines outside banks for days.

At the interaction, someone asked Mr Gandhi how he would have rolled out demonetisation differently.

"If I was Prime Minister and someone had given me a file with demonetisation written on it, I would have thrown it in the dustbin. That is how I would have rolled it out," Mr Gandhi said to a loud applause from the audience.

Mr Gandhi continued.

"I would have rolled it out in the dustbin, and out through the doors and into the junkyard... Because that is what I think should have been done with demonetisation," he added in a video of the interaction shared by the Congress party on its Twitter handle.

Mr Gandhi is on a five-day trip to the Southeast Asian countries that started from Singapore.  He began the Malaysia leg of his visit today and interacted with the Indian diaspora in Kuala Lumpur.

Mr Gandhi has blamed PM Modi for slowing down the Indian economy by his sudden decision to pull out Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 currency notes from circulation and then, a flawed implementation of the national tax reform, GST.

These two steps killed the economy and rendered lakhs of people jobless, Mr Gandhi would often tell people at his election meetings. Former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, a reputed economist, has variously called the decision a "monumental management failure" and "organised loot and legalised plunder."

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But the BJP hasn't lost a major state election where the Congress president has made the notes ban a central point of his campaign, a trend that is seen to imply that PM Modi's narrative around the controversial decision had public support.

PM Modi, which had pitched the notes ban as a deadly blow against black money, terrorism and fake currency, have claimed that the exercise had delivered results and point to an expansion in the number of taxpayers and people using digital modes of payment.

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