Congress Chief Rahul Gandhi on Thursday alleged that demonetisation was a planned "brutal conspiracy" and a "shrewd scheme" to convert the black money of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "suit-booted friends".
On the second anniversary of demonetisation, he also said that there was nothing innocent about this "scam" and claimed that drawing any other meaning out of it was an insult to the intelligence of the nation.
Rahul Gandhi's remarks came after former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's scathing assessment of the demonetisation exercise. He said the "scars and wounds" it caused are getting more visible with time and the decision's second anniversary is a day to remember how "economic misadventures" can roil the nation.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley made a strong defence, saying demonetisation resulted in formalisation of economy and increased tax base, with the government earmarking more resources for the poor and infrastructure development.
Rahul Gandhi tweeted in Hindi, "Note ban was a premeditated brutal conspiracy. This scam was a shrewd scheme to convert the black money of Prime Minister's suit-booted friends to white. Nothing was innocent in this scam. Drawing any other meaning of it would be an insult of the intelligence of the nation,"
In a press statement, the Congress chief said, November 8th will forever go down in the history of India, as a day of infamy. Two years ago, on this day, Prime Minister Modi unleashed the tyranny of demonetisation on the nation. At eight that night, he appeared on television to deliver a unilateral announcement, that we now know didn’t even have the support of his own economic advisors. With that one declaration of demonetisation, Mr Modi took 86% of India's currency out of circulation, bringing our economy to a grinding halt.
Rahul Gandhi called demonetisation a ‘unique’ tragedy becuase it was “self-inflicted, suicidal attack that destroyed millions of lives and ruined thousands of India's small businesses. The worst hit by demonetisation were the poorest of the poor, forced to queue for days to exchange their meagre savings.”
More than a hundred and twenty Indians died in those queues. We must never forget them. Millions of small and medium businesses were smashed and the entire informal sector devastated, he further added.
Rahul Gandhi pointed out that the economists around the world have analysed the crippling impact of demonetisation, concluding that demonetisation was an unmitigated disaster that didn't meet a single of its stated objectives. All that was accomplished was a disaster.
Modi's demonetisation cost India over one and a half million jobs and wiped out at least 1% from our GDP.
On the second anniversary of the Prime Minister's monumental blunder, the Government’s spin-doctors, including our incompetent Finance Minister, have the unenviable task of defending an indefensible, criminal policy, Congress President Rahul Gandhi said.
He further added that demonetisation was not just an ill-conceived and poorly executed economic policy with "innocent intent", but a carefully planned, criminal financial scam and people of India will not rest till the full truth about demonetisation comes out.