PATNA: Just when the BJP-led Union government thought it has found an ally in Bihar CM Nitish Kumar on the demonetisation issue, the Centre’s drive for cashless transactions met strong resistance on Monday from the JD(U) president, who asserted that the move will not succeed as India is still not ready for it.
In indications that his positive stand on demonetisation may be heading for a change, Kumar said the “sheer inconvenience” faced by common people due to the step is unlikely to improve even after 50 days, as ‘assured’ by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The JD(U), which is yet to reveal its stand on a series of anti-demonetisation protest programmes planned by its ally RJD headed by Lalu Prasad Yadav starting December 28, would review the post-demonetisation scenario after December 30, said Kumar.
“Cashless economy is simply not possible in a country like India. There is no doubt that the country can be cashless in a limited way now and that it would gradually increase with time. Cash still remains the ordinary citizen’s means of transaction,” said Kumar after his weekly ‘lok samvad’ programme.
“We have seen in childhood how the barter system was ending and the use of cash caught up. The transaction of cash is linked to the culture and habits of the people. No matter how much effort is made, India cannot become a cashless economy,” added the JD(U) leader in statements that appeared in sync with the stand of Lalu Prasad for the first time.
Kumar said: “Unless there is an attack on black money, which means many houses and valuable assets owned by many rich and influential people, no measure would succeed… There are huge quantities of black money in the country.”