Demonetisation anniversary: Opposition to protest against PM Narendra Modi's government today
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted a seven-minute film early on Wednesday morning that he said encapsulates "the benefits of demonetisation," also stating that "125 crore Indians fought a decisive battle and WON." A year ago today, the Prime Minister had suddenly banned high value notes yanking 86 per cent of the currency in circulation at the time, in an effort to combat corruption and black money. The government is celebrating the first anniversary of the notes ban as "Anti-black money day" to counter the opposition's protests on what it has labelled a "black day."
Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, who will join protests in Gujarat's Surat today, has tweeted, "Demonetisation is a tragedy. We stand with millions of honest Indians, whose lives & livelihoods were destroyed by PM's thoughtless act. "
The Congress' P Chidambaram, a former Finance Minister, tweeted, "Black money eliminated says Govt. Let the Gujarat election campaign start and you will find the 'eliminated' black money." He has demanded that the government make public Central Bank RBI's agenda, background note and former Reserve Bank Governor Dr Raghuram Rajan's notes on demonetisation.
On Tuesday, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of the Congress and union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley sparred over the notes ban, with the latter describing the demonetisation as a "morally and ethically correct" step that was a "watershed moment for the Indian economy."
The Finance Minister accused the former Prime Minister of describing "an ethical and moral rationale" and brought up the 2G and commonwealth games scams under Dr Singh's watch during the UPA regime saying, "that is loot".
Fielded by his party in Gujarat, where key assembly elections will be held next month, Dr Singh had reiterated what he said in Parliament, that the notes ban was "organised loot and legalised plunder." Demonetisation and new national tax GST were "twin blow" to the economy, he said.
Countrywide protests, rallies and candle-light marches have been planned by the Congress and other Opposition parties. The Congress, which described the note ban decision as the "biggest scam" has also asked all its leaders to highlight the demerits of the decision, which it said is a "colossal and completely avoidable failure".
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday slammed demonetisation as a "devil act" alleging the currency exercise was "only to convert black money into white for vested interests of the political party in power". Ms Banerjee changed the display picture of her Twitter account to black on Monday in a staunch protest against demonetisation.
To counter the opposition's protest, top BJP leaders including Nitin Gadkari, Smrit Irani and Nirmala Sitharaman will fan out across the country to highlight the "benefits" of demonetisation.
Turning up the heat on the Congress, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said his government hit corruption and black money hard, making the opposition party angry.