NEW DELHI: The Opposition on Tuesday trained guns on the government about the cash crunch reported from some states, forcing the Centre to allay fears by saying the issue would be sorted out in a few days.
As Congress president Rahul Gandhi claimed that demonetisation was back to haunt the people, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley asserted that the temporary cash shortage had been triggered by a sudden and unusual increase in withdrawals in some areas.
Although Jaitley offered the assurance that the cash crunch would be addressed shortly, the Opposition sought to corner the government as reports poured in from various places of people coming across ATMs that had run dry.
Rahul claimed the Modi regime had destroyed the banking system. “Demonetisation is back to haunt the common people. The Prime Minister took away currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 through demonetisation, only to give it to fugitives like Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi who looted the banks of Rs 30,000 crore and fled the country,” he told reporters in Amethi, his constituency.
He also accused the Prime Minister of running away from key issues affecting the people. “If I was allowed to speak in Parliament for 15 minutes, the Prime Minister won’t be able to stand,” Rahul quipped.
CPI (M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury continued the attack on the government, saying demonetisation had not been able to kill terrorism or corruption or fake currency but had certainly killed the Indian economy.
“The cash crisis tells us how Modi’s demonetisation disaster is still wreaking havoc. The ATMs were empty in November 2016. The ATMs are empty now. And the only party flush with cash is the BJP, while the people suffer,” Yechury tweeted.
He claimed that the Reserve Bank of India had not been able to count the demonetised currency. “After the demonetisation disaster, where goalposts were repeatedly shifted and deadlines changed, no one trusts the Modi government any more,” he added.
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee also slammed the Modi government. “Big notes missing. Reminder of DeMonetisation days. Is there a financial emergency going on in the country?” she asked.