NEW DELHI: The demonetisation drive is the biggest scam in independent India that broke the backbone of the country's economy, the AAP said today.
Senior AAP leader Sanjay Singh also lashed out at the Reserve Bank of India for "lying" to the nation about the total amount of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes in circulation before the drive.
He said while Prime Minister Narendra Modi claimed that withdrawing the high denomination notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 would put an end to the menace of black money, curb terrorism and naxalism, it has instead "dealt a severe blow to the economy".
The central bank had yesterday stated that as much as 99 per cent of the junked Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes have returned to the banking system.
The Reserve Bank, which has so far shied away from disclosing the actual number of junked currency deposited after November 8 last year, said in its Annual Report for 2016-17 that Rs 15.28 lakh crore of the junked currency had come back into the banking system, leaving only Rs 16,050 crore out.
AAP leader Ashutosh said the economy grew between January to March 2016 at the rate of 8.5 per cent, but it declined to 6 per cent for the same time during 2017 due to the severe impact of demonetisation.
"The RBI initially said there were Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes amounting to Rs 14.18 lakh crore in circulation, but now it has raised the figure to Rs 15.44 lakh crore. The RBI is lying," he said.
Attacking Modi, Singh questioned the rationale behind introducing the move as "none of the objectives behind the initiative were achieved".
"We have been saying since day one that demonetisation is one of the biggest scams in independent India which has broken the backbone of the country's economy. The prime minister should apologise to the nation," he asserted.
AAP's national convenor Arvind Kejriwal, an ardent critic of the move, had addressed rallies in several states opposing demonetisation.