Twenty days since the demonetisation move, things are yet to fall in place. For the common man, the shortage of new currency, especially that of `500, is painfully evident and many ATMs are still closed. BJP National General Secretary Ram Madhav, who was in the city on Sunday, shares his thoughts on the issue.
While most agree with the objective of demonetisation, there has been criticism that it could have been better planned to prevent people from facing hardship. Do you agree?
We are sorry that some inconvenience has been caused to the people. Having said that, when you embark on a major exercise, it is bound to cause some inconvenience. But the people of this country understand that and those who are criticising this move are shifting goal posts. First they said the move is economically bad, then they said the implementation is bad. When things started falling in place, they complained that `2000 is available, but `500 is not. Sadly, the Opposition parties, or those opposing the idea, are not ready to accept the fact demonetisation is a major panacea for the ills plaguing our economy. They say preparation was not done. Actually, there was no time given to them to hide their things. The government needs to take action in a manner that will elicit maximum results and this was done keeping in mind that some amount of inconvenience would be caused.
The Opposition parties are fiercely opposed to the idea in view of the hardships faced by people. How will they be convinced?
The opposition is in Parliament and in TV studios, but not among the people. People are largely supporting the idea. They are fed up with corruption, money hoarding, fake currency notes. They have enormous faith in the PM. This is because they see in him a leader without any self interest. Even if it involves difficulties, the country is ready for it because they believe whatever he is doing is for the good of future generations.
But Parliament has to function. How do you break this stalemate?
The Opposition has a responsibility. They have every right to voice their protest. But they are stalling Parliament and and not discussing even when the government is saying it is ready to discuss the matter in the House. This is because they do not have anything to discuss about demonetisation, so they find one reason or the other to stall Parliament proceedings. They have climbed the tree and now they don’t know how to climb down.
They are even ready for a Bharat Bandh...
I do not know whether it is ‘Bharat Bandh’ or, as some are saying, ‘Aakrosh Divas’. Mamta Banerjee says there is no bandh. Siddaramaiah said Congress is not supporting any bandh. The inside joke is that even if they want to organise something like a bandh, there is no money to organise it due to demonetisation.
Farmers in particular have been facing problems over loan disbursal through district cooperative banks. Is the government doing anything to address this?
RBI has made arrangements to address this problem. The states have to play a proactive role. There are no such complaints from any BJP-ruled states because they are in line with the central government. The states should see to it that problems being faced by people are addressed.
BJP state president Yeddyurappa attended the wedding of Janardhan Reddy’s daughter. Does it not send a wrong message?
I am not aware of who attended the wedding. A lot of leaders from all parties attended. Maybe you should get the full list and then ask me. I cannot comment on who attended and who did not. Who attends the marriage is not media’s business. I do not have anything to say about it.
Post the surgical strike on the Indo-Pak border, violence has increased. What is the way forward?
The way forward is to proactively pursue peace and this is being explored by Pakistan too. They initiated this violence along the border. The Director General of Military Operations (DGMO) of Pakistan came forward for a discussion with DGMO of India. After their discussion, we are hoping peace is restored. Both sides have to join hands for that. Yes, there has been loss of lives, but it’s the duty to of our soldiers to protect the borders and they will do that.