New Delhi: Opposition parties, from the Congress to CPI(M) to DMK, lashed out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday for his demonetisation ‘adventure’ that wreaked havoc on the economy, the impact of which is still being felt by the people.
On the second anniversary of the Modi's 2016 decision to ban Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes, the Congress launched a campaign "Destruction by Demonetisation" highlighting the havoc caused by the move and how it was a complete failure.
The party will also hold a nationwide protest on Friday.
A host of party leaders including former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh came out in stringent criticism of demonetisation.
Calling it an "ill-fated" and "ill-thought" exercise, Singh said the scars and wounds of the decision were only getting more visible with time and its deeper ramifications were still unravelling.
Singh said that beyond the steep drop in headline GDP growth numbers after demonetisation, the deeper ramifications of note ban were still unravelling.
"Small and medium businesses that are the cornerstone of India's economy are yet to recover from the demonetisation shock," he added.
"Notebandi (note ban) impacted every single person, regardless of age, gender, religion, occupation or creed."
Helped Black Money Turn White: CPI(M)
The Communist Party of India (Marxist) said the Modi government's "disastrous demonetisation" devastated crores of people dependent on daily cash transactions and helped to convert black money into white.
"On the second anniversary of demonetisation, the Indian economy is yet to recover from the disaster imposed on our economy and the people by Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi," the CPI(M)said in a statement.
"All the claims that it would unearth lakhs of crores of rupees of black money and end corruption have proven to be utterly false.
"On the contrary, with 99.4 per cent of the banned notes back in the system, it is clear that demonetisation has, in fact, been the avenue to convert black money into white, helping the most corrupt," it said.
"On the other hand, crores of people dependent on daily cash transactions have been devastated and more than 35 lakh workers in the unorganized sector lost their livelihood.
"Similarly, the SMEs (small and medium enterprises) have suffered a huge loss in revenue. Nor has there been any impact on terrorist activities due to funding crunch as claimed by
Modi at that time.
The CPI-M also condemned the "shameless defence" being put out by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who is equally responsible for the mess in the Indian economy."
One Man Made Disaster: Stalin
DMK President M.K. Stalin and PMK Founder S. Ramadoss also criticised demonetisation in 2016.
In a tweet, Stalin termed the demonetisation as "one man made disaster for India".
He said: "People were brought on streets with their money declared illegal. Indians stood in endless lines and many died outside banks, millions of jobs were lost, small industries shut and the economy hit irreversibly."
Ramadoss said the day marks the second anniversary of not only demonetising Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 rupee notes but also of hurting the economy severely.