New Delhi: As the opposition continued to protest against demonetisation in parliament, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter to finally talk about the decision. Several opposition members have questioned why Modi has chosen not to defend the government’s stance in parliament himself.
In a series of tweets, Modi vaguely referenced the “gains” from demonetisation and saluted those supporting the “yagna” that is demonetisation. The “short term pain”, he added, “will give way for long term gains”. He also said that demonetisation would mean that the “progress and prosperity” of rural India would no longer be curtailed by corruption, but did not answer the reports saying that the rural economy, being dependent on cash transactions, has been hit extremely hard by the move. Modi also said India now has a “historic opportunity” to move towards a cashless economy.
Tensions in parliament
Opposition leaders today observed a ‘black day’ in the parliament premises to mark one month since the announcement of demonetisation, with Rahul Gandhi launching a scathing attack on Modi, saying his “foolish decision” has “devastated” the country.
Leading the protest, Gandhi accused Modi of shying away from having a discussion on the issue in parliament, but stressed that opposition parties will “not let him run away” from both houses, where “everything will become clear” once the prime minister takes part in debate.
Speaking to reporters on parliament premises, he said the prime minister is “having nice time” and has over the past one month “changed his narrative” on the issue while people are reeling under hardships.
Besides the Congress, leaders of all opposition parties, including the TMC, CPI(M), CPI, JD(U) and the Samajwadi Party, joined the protest by wearing black band on their arms.
Referring to the prime minister’s cashless economy talk, Gandhi said, “There is this concept of PayTM. Pay to Modi, that’s the idea behind cashless economy. That’s few people should get maximum benefit from cash transactions.”
Hitting-out at the Congress-led opposition for observing a ‘black day’ against demonetisation decision, the government today said they are actually observing a “black money support day”.
Information and broadcasting minister Venakaiah Naidu also termed the dharna by opposition leaders near the Gandhi statue in parliament premises as a big ‘tamasha‘ and an insult to Gandhi.
“By posing for photos in front of Mahatama Gandhi, you cannot claim to be a Gandhian. And you cannot make the people believe that you are believers of Gandhism. Scuttling the debate on demonetisation for than two weeks and not allowing parliament, staging dharnas, going to the well of the house, abusing the prime minister, raising slogans is in no way going to help democracy,” Naidu said.
The minister claimed that praise has poured in from abroad as well on the demonetisation decision.
(With PTI inputs)