NEW DELHI: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday said the BJP will celebrate Anti-Black Money Day on November 8 to mark the first anniversary of demonetisation. The announcement came a day after the Congress said it will observe November 8 as Black Day and hold protests across the country.
“All BJP ministers, leaders and workers will participate in the celebration. Senior ministers will tour the country to speak to people on the achievements of demonetisation and explain its objective,” Jaitley said.
Lashing out at the Congress for its inability to act against black money, he said, “Those who ruined the nation are now giving sermons. The Congress had adequate opportunity while being in power. But I can’t recollect a single step that they took against black money. They had reconciled to the idea of shallow economy.”
Giving full marks to the NDA government for demonetisation, Jaitley added that the “drive helped the government bring unaccounted cash back into the banking system, and close to 18 lakh people are being asked to explain sources of deposits disproportionate to their income... The BJP would accept the challenge to take the debate forward on the actions of the government against black money”.
The Congress party, meanwhile, slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the sliding economy and said he should apologise for the demonetisation decision which took the lives of 150 people and wiped off millions of jobs.
“Jobs are in peril, businesses are shutting down, exports are falling, GDP is on a downward spiral, NPAs have touched a whopping `9 lakh crore and credit growth is a low of 63 years,” Congress spokespersons Randeep Surjewala and Anand Sharma said. “The PM should apologise to the nation,” they said.
“Instead of apologising for the death of over 150 people and unprecedented strike on the livelihood of common Indians, the BJP is so drunk with power that it wants to celebrate the ‘Demon of Demonetisation’,” said the two Congress leaders.
Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi also took potshots at Jaitley’s claims of over 7 per cent growth in the past three years and termed them as farcical. “Dear Mr Jaitley, May the farce be with you,” Rahul tweeted.
The Congress asked the Centre where had all the black money gone and whether the note ban helped curb fake currency and terror funding, and pushed the digital economy, as claimed by the PM. “PM Modi and FM Jaitley say that since November 2016 up to May 2017, `17,526 crore has been detected as ‘Undisclosed Income’. They forget to mention that five times more ‘Black Money’ was unearthed by UPA in its last two years,” said Sharma.