NEW DELHI: There was no let up in the currency crisis issue on Wednesday as the government and Opposition continued their sparring match on whether demonetisation was a good move or a false step. The Opposition leaders slammed the move with Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi calling it a “foolish decision’’, while the BJP called him a “headline grabber” who was in competition with Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
As the Opposition held demonstrations right outside Parliament observing the completion of a month since the decision was taken as “black day’’, the Prime Minister took to Twitter to prove it otherwise. And by evening, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced a slew of measures—mostly discounts to citizens and banks—to incentivise digital economy.
Congress deputy leader in the Rajya Sabha Anand Sharma accused the government of shifting goalposts and said that the measures announced had little meaning as they did not address the real issue which “is the impact of demonetisation on the economy’’ and the suffering of the people because of the cash crunch. Not to be left behind, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee who had called her opposition to demonetisation a “people’s movement’’, labelled it a “man-made economic disaster”.
Almost in response to the Opposition fusillade, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asserted on Twitter that the “short-term pain” will pave the way for “long-term gains” and insisted that farmers, traders and labourers stand to gain from this step.
Taking part in the “black day” protests, Rahul however continued to claim that the “so-called bold decision” was “foolish” and had “devastated” the country. The unrelenting Opposition leaders from the Congress, TMC, CPM, CPI, JD(U) and Samajwadi Party wore black bands on their arms to make their point.
Known for his quips, Minister of Information and Broadcasting Venkaiah Naidu rephrased the Opposition protests as “black money support day”.