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Congress, CPM hit back: ‘PM not aware of history, his own people put party first’

Modi had told BJP MPs that for the Congress, the party had always been bigger than the country, and that Indira Gandhi as PM had rejected suggestions for demonetisation of high-value notes.

Written by Manoj C G | New Delhi |
December 17, 2016 3:03:35 am
Congress, CPM, narendra modi, Indira Gandhi, high-value currency notes, currency notes, india news, indian express Sibal quoted Rajendra Prasad’s remarks when Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes were pulled out of circulation before Independence.

The Congress and the CPM hit back at Prime Minister Narendra Modi Friday, hours after he had attacked them for opposing his government’s decision to scrap high-value currency notes. Modi had told BJP MPs that for the Congress, the party had always been bigger than the country, and that Indira Gandhi as PM had rejected suggestions for demonetisation of high-value notes.

“The problem is that the prime minister is neither aware of history nor does he try to find out,” said Congress leader Kapil Sibal. “Modi should know what his own people were doing when the Congress was fighting for Independence. They were against the Independence movement. At that time, it was party ahead of the nation for them.”

Sibal quoted Rajendra Prasad’s remarks when Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes were pulled out of circulation before Independence. He said Prasad had then said that a large number of people belonging to the middle and lower-middle classes will be hit hard and that “while we, Congressmen have no sympathy for profiteers and dealers in the black money, it is not right to penalise honest people, who in good faith, hold some savings in notes of demonetised value”.

“Would Modi also call him (Prasad) a scamster and antinational?” he said. CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury too hit out at the prime minister for his remarks that Communists had always backed demonetisation to fight black money and that the CPM has now moved away from its ideological path.

“The PM seems to be on a learning curve now. He is now realising what all happened in Indian Parliament earlier… It was also because of the CPM’s pressure that the government of Morarji Desai, which we were supporting, demonetised the Rs 1,000, Rs 5,000 and Rs 10,000 notes in 1978 after the Wanchoo Committee report. And these notes then were not normal exchange currency. I had never seen a Rs 1,000 note till Desai the government demonetised it. But today, Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes are normal currency notes. It is a totally different ball game. Withdrawing notes in circulation today and withdrawing notes in which money was stored then cannot be compared,” he said.

He said demonetising notes to tackle black money is a normal practice and “we have supported it”. “But demonetise notes in which it (black money) is stored. The prime minister himself is saying that more than 90 per cent of black money is in tax havens abroad. He has got a list from the Swiss authorities. The Supreme Court has asked the government to make the list public… but the government refuses, saying there will be legal problems…If he really wants to tackle black money, why doesn’t he go after black money in tax havens? There he is not moving an inch. And the whole move is not tackling black money because they are not going to the basic source,” he told The Indian Express.

He said the government wants to convert India into a cashless economy so that multinationals and e-commerce giants can control the economy.

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