Mayawati describes it as ‘undeclared financial emergency’, Mulayam says ‘allow a week for common people to make adjustments’
Heavily criticising the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government’s sudden step to demonetise currency notes, the Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) on Thursday equated it with the imposition of an “emergency” in the country. The parties, the BJP’s main opponents in Uttar Pradesh, said the decision was taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi keeping in mind the upcoming State elections.
Mr. Mulayam and Ms. Mayawati said the Centre’s move had led to chaos and confusion, and adversely affected access to services and normal life for the poor, farmers, labourers, small traders and women.
BJP exudes confidence
The BJP has, however, in its public rallies and statements, popularised the demonetisation as a “surgical strike” against black money, and off-the-record, its leaders exude confidence that its political opponents would be worst affected due to the prevalence of unaccounted cash in campaigning in the State.
They claimed Ms. Mayawati’s call for an emergency meeting of office-bearers on Thursday and Mr. Mulayam’s demand for a rollback for a certain period were hints that the parties were rattled. Ms. Mayawati’s opponents and rebels have often accused her of auctioning party tickets. Many SP leaders, including controversial minister and Mulayam-confidant Gayatri Prasad Prajapati, are also accused of amassing disproportionate wealth.
Without naming anybody, BJP vice-president Dinesh Sharma took a dig at the SP and BSP for their opposition to the demonetisation. “Some parties are saying they should get more time so that they can convert black money into white. Some political parties are depressed,” Mr. Sharma said.
While lashing out strongly at Mr. Modi, Ms. Mayawati said the sudden decision to demonetise currency notes of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 seemed less in public and national interest and more of a “sadistic pleasure”. If the Modi government was honest about fighting black money, why did it wait for more than two-and-a-half years after coming to power, she wondered. Ms. Mayawati said the common refrain was that the BJP had taken the step after it had “done bandobast” (taken measures) to financially strengthen it by stashing funds abroad through its collusion with capitalists, whom it favoured. The BJP has stacked enough funds abroad to serve it for a hundred years, she said. “Now that they are done with it, they are remembering black money,” she said.
While reiterating that his party supported the fight against black money and was “against its use in elections”, Mr. Mulayam Singh said chaos had been unleashed in the name of bringing back black money. He said the sudden scrapping of notes had caused a lack of trust in business, social tension, and an adverse impact on women.
“Common people should get a chance. Later, nobody should be given a chance. After that we are with you in this fight against black money,” Mr. Mulayam Singh told reporters. The SP chief said, “it seems Modi wants to mortgage the nation in the hands of some capitalist families,” even as he said his party would protest against the decision. Referring to the death of an invalid woman due to shock in Kushinagar as she was stranded with Rs. 500 notes, Mr. Mulayam demanded that the cut-off deposit for women be increased to Rs. 5 lakh.
The BSP chief also attacked BJP chief Amit Shah for lauding Mr. Modi’s step as a “surgical strike,” saying it was an instance of “blind following”. If the government had raided the homes of the top 500 or 1,000 capitalists and recovered black money, it could be termed as a surgical strike, she said.
Ms. Mayawati also wondered how the demonetisation would help curb black money when more than half of the country’s 125 crore people were poor small traders and labourers. “Do they have black money that they are being subjected to inconvenience?” she asked. “How can we expect a government to end corruption when it helped corruption accused Vijay Mallya and Lalit Modi escape abroad?”
Source : The Hindu
Source URL : http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/sp-bsp-object-to-demonetisation-says-its-akin-to-emergency/article9330411.ece