National

Cong slams govt for ‘immense suffering’ caused to people

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 16, 2018 Published on December 29, 2016

RANDEEP SINGH SURJEWALA

Accuses BJP leaders of hoarding cash; to launch stir on Jan 6



Seeking to counter the Centre’s proposed media blitzkrieg on demonetisation, the Congress on Thursday demanded an apology from the Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the “immense suffering” inflicted on the people because of the decision to ban high-value currency notes.

As part of its anti-demonetisation campaign, a number of Congress spokespersons and leaders will address as many as 25 press conferences across the country in the next two days. Countrywide agitations, rallies and protests too are believed to have been planned from January 6 onwards.

After Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi addressed two successive media conferences on demonetisation in the last two days, party leaders such as Mallikarjun Kharge, Randeep Singh Surjewala and Meem Afzal spoke out on Thursday, accusing the government of “imposing financial restrictions on the common people to help the rich”.

In Jaipur, Surjewala mounted a sharp attack not just on demonetisation but also made serious charges against the ruling BJP for hoarding cash, and its leaders for being in cahoots with the corrupt. Surjewala said honest citizens are suffering while those with ill-gotten wealth are being helped.

Ramchandra keh gaye siya se aisa kalyug aayega, mehnatkash khada hoga line mein aur beimaan ka karz chukayega (Lord Rama told Sita that Kalyug will witness the hardworking people standing in queues to pay bad debts of the corrupt),” Surjewala said.

Surjewala accused the BJP of hoarding cash while inflicting financial restrictions on the common people.

The BJP’s ₹3 crore

“Modi ji, you talk about digital payments even for tea. Then why was ₹3 crore transferred to your UP party office in cash?” he said. Elaborating, the Congress leader said: “Recently in Ghaziabad, ₹3 crore was seized from two people in a car. Police took the car to the police station. BJP leader Ashok Monga reached there with letter on behalf of party president Amit Shah that the money was sent by the BJP headquarters to its Lucknow office.”

Attacking Modi, Surjewala said that the Prime Minister is good at making announcements that are far from reality. “Even after 50 days of demonetisation step, normalcy has not been restored. PM Modi’s demonetisation move has turned out to be ‘ deshbandi’ (lockdown of the country). Development has come to a standstill. It is a scam and an uncalled move. It has resulted into economic instability in the country. Several people have died due to cash crunch across the country. It is a surgical strike on the country’s poor and has caused them immense suffering,” Surjewala said at a press conference in Jaipur.

He claimed that note ban has led to 115 deaths in last 50 days, RBI has changed its rules 126 times and it will take eight months to print the equivalent currency notes.

“Starting January 6, we will continuously hold protests across the country against demonetisation. We demand compensation for aggrieved family members, income and sales tax rebate to traders and common man,” he said.

Congress leader Meem Afzal said the Prime Minister “has so far not had a word of sympathy for the victims, forget an apology”.

“But we expect him to apologise when he speaks on the issue at the end of the 50 days he had sought,” he told reporters in Srinagar.

Published on December 29, 2016
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