NEW DELHI: Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi made a frontal attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the first anniversary of demonetisation, calling it a “thoughtless act” and a tragedy that had ruined millions of lives.
He also called Modi an “autocrat” in an article written for The Finacial Times of London.
“Demonetisation is a tragedy. We stand with millions of honest Indians, whose lives & livelihoods were destroyed by PM’s thoughtless act,” Rahul tweeted.
To score a political point in Modi’s home state Gujarat, which is going to polls next months, Rahul visited Surat and met traders affected by note ban. “Their backs have been broken,” he said.
In his article, the Rahul made a searing criticism of demonetisation and other measures of the government, saying Modi’s reform agenda had actually hurt India’s economy. “The Prime Minister claimed his decision was aimed at wiping out corruption. Twelve months on, the only thing he has wiped out is confidence in our once-booming economy,” he wrote. He also called Modi a “democratically elected autocrat” in the article.
The Congress demanded the PM’s apology for demonetisation. “It has destroyed not only India’s growth story but has also rendered crores of people jobless as businesses have shut down. That is something the PM should apologise for,” said Congress communications department chief Randeep Surjewala, who accused the PM of being “drunk with arrogance of power”. He said the day also marked the anniversary of the 150 people who had lost their lives due to note ban.
The party’s state units staged protests in Delhi, Mumbai, Bhopal, Bengaluru and other cities to mark the first anniversary of demonetisation as ‘black day’.