Prime Minister Narendra Modi is being criticised from all political corners for declaring the Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes as illegal tenders. In a move to curb black money and fake currency in the country, as he had claimed on 8 November, PM Modi announced a demonetisation program which created a situation of panic across the nation.
The announcement came as a shock to the nation which was ill-prepared to tackle such a big change. Long queues outsides ATMs are a common sight across India right now.
Many political leaders have accused the BJP-led union government of slapping 'emergency' in the country and fulfilling its own political agenda while terming it as a fight against black money.
Here's what the leaders have to say about the demonetisation program:
1. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal held a press conference on 12 November claiming those close to BJP were informed about the move months before the announcement was made. Based on a business news channel report, he also said that BJP leaders deposited thousands of crores in banks in denominations of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000.
कुछ भक्त कह रहे हैं कि नोट लिए व्यक्ति का चेहरा नहीं दिख रहा।— Ankit Lal (@AnkitLal) November 11, 2016
अरे संघी पप्पूओं, 6 तारिख को कैसे मिली 2000 के नोट की फोटो इस भाजपाई को। pic.twitter.com/8JaMBojBBH
2. Public Interest Lawyer, activist and founder member of the Swaraj Abhiyan, Prashant Bhushan produced a document from Kolkata branch of India Bank which showed that hours before Prime Minister Narendra Modi's speech, Rs 1 crore were deposited in BJP's (West Bengal) bank account. Bhushan claims the deposits were made in Rs 1,000 denominations.
This is just 1 Acct of WB BJP in Central Ave,Kolkata branch of Indian Bank where cash dep of 1Cr is made in 1K notes,hours before PM speech! pic.twitter.com/tQ7M1RO8fm— Prashant Bhushan (@pbhushan1) November 11, 2016
3. Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, on 10 November, questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ambitions plan to scrap old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 rupee notes to curb untaxed wealth, calling it an inconvenience to people and dared the Prime Minister to conduct a 'surgical strike' on Swiss banks where Indian money is stashed.
He said, "If you have guts, conduct a 'surgical strike' on Swiss banks where Indian money is stashed. Bring back this black money." He further added that the move amounted to "torture" of the public and that he was "upset" with PM Modi's style of working.
4. Congress leader Sandeep Dikshit pointed fingers at the prime minister saying he had promised that the rich and powerful will sweat over this development, but so far the only inconvenience being caused is to the common man.
"Has anyone seen a person stepping out of a sleep car and come stand in the long ATM queue? Have any rich and powerful people been seen being inconvenienced? No. Clearly, it's the common man who is bearing the brunt," Dixit said.
5. Congress leader Kapil Sibal has demanded a commission to be set up to enquire the money, that BJP spent during its election campaign. He suggested that "a lot of black money went into it."6. Sitaram Yechury, General Secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), said that the PM announced the demonetisation program without any preparation. "The move illustrates the present government's idea of governance and lack of empathy for the average Indian's suffering. Small towns & villages worst hit by how this demonetisation has been announced," he had tweeted.
PM announced this without any preparation: Illustrates this govt's idea of governance and lack of empathy for the average Indian's suffering— Sitaram Yechury (@SitaramYechury) November 12, 2016
6. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, while criticising the demonetisation program, said that as per the electoral assurance, BJP was supposed to bring back black money from outside India but the government has instead made the common people feel helpless and penniless.
Mentioning an example about the sufferings of people due to the move, the Chief Minister tweeted, "Here is only one example. Tea garden owners have expressed difficulty to pay wages on time. This could lead to frustration among poor workers, most of whom are tribals. Desperation? Starvation?"
So far, other than the long queues outside ATM booths and banks, a middle-aged homemaker in Telangana committed suicide and a Faizabad-based businessman died of a heart attack after Modi announced that Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes will be illegal tenders.In another case, Vishwanath Vertak, a 73-year-old man in Mumbai, collapsed and died while standing in a queue before a bank.