New Delhi: With the Centre celebrating the first anniversary of one year of successful completion of demonetisation, opposition parties, observing November 8 as 'black day', left no stones unturned to attack Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA government.
Congress mocks demonetisation, says Modi 'robbing' the country
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi accused Modi of "robbing" the country of its economic prowess and "damaging" India by converting people's anger due to joblessness into "communal hatred".
Gandhi said the Prime Minister claimed his decision was aimed at wiping out corruption and black money, but "Twelve months on, the only thing he has wiped out is confidence in our once booming economy".
He alleged that demonetisation destroyed the informal labour sector and wiped out many small and medium businesses.
"Mr Modi has damaged India by converting anger created by joblessness and lack of economic opportunity into communal hatred. He has chosen to hide behind a shallow, hate-filled political narrative. Anger might have brought Mr Modi to power but it will never create jobs or fix India's institutions," Rahul said.
Congress leader and former finance minister P Chidambaram also launched a scathing attack on the Centre and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, asking whether it was "ethical" to heap misery on millions of people.
No one could deny that lives and jobs were lost due to the note ban, the former Union finance minister said on "demonetisation Black Day".
In a series of tweets, Chidambaram said: "FM says demonetisation was 'ethical'. Was it ethical to heap misery on millions of people, especially 15 crore daily wage earners?"
Chidambaram also launched a frontal attack on the Modi government and said, "On demonetisation Black Day read real-life stories, say a prayer for the millions who suffered."
In a first, govt 'celebrating' death, suffering: Left on DeMo
The Left also lashed out at the Modi government, saying that for the first time in India's history, a government was "celebrating" death and suffering.
Six Left parties, which took to the streets to protest against the Centre's demonetisation policy, said the government had set two records – making people lose their lives in queues and helping hoarders change black money into white.
"The Modi Government has created two records in the world. One, it made people stand in queues and many people lost their lives; Second, though Modi tried to tell the people and the world that by demonetisation he would stop black money, in reality he has helped hoarders change black money into white," CPI(M) leader Brinda Karat said at the rally on the first anniversary of demonetisation.
The politburo member also said the Modi government had created history.
"For the first time in the history of India, a government is celebrating the deaths and the sufferings of people," she said, referring to the Centre's programmes to commemorate the first year of the move.
DMK holds 'Karuppu Dinam' (Black Day) protest against demonetisation
In Madurai, Tamil Nadu, DMK took out protests and raised slogans against the NDA government's note ban move.
Clad in a black shirt, DMK working president MK Stalin led a well-attended 'Karuppu Dinam' (Black Day).
Slamming the NDA government on implementing demonetisation Stalin alleged that it only ended up causing "hardship" for the common man.
"This day (November 8) has just turned to be a day that brought despair to 125 crore people of the country although they (BJP) promised they will eradicate black money," Stalin, also Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly, said.
Senior DMK leaders, Durai Murugan and Kanimozhi, led a protest in Tiruchirappalli and Coimbatore, respectively.
DMK men wore black shirts, while women supporters, besides leaders like Kanimozhi, were clad in black sarees.
The Congress and IUML, allies of the DMK, also staged protests in different parts of the state like Chennai and Karur.
Trinamool Congress calls the day 'DeMoDisaster'
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee described demonetisation as "DeMoDisaster" and turned her Twitter display picture black, on the first anniversary of the note ban on Wednesday.
Banerjee had on Monday announced her decision to change the display picture on her Twitter account to 'black' on the first anniversary of demonetisation.
"I have turned my Twitter DP black #DeMoDisaster. Let us raise our voices #Nov8BlackDay," the Trinamool Congress supremo wrote on her Twitter handle after turning her DP black on Wednesday morning.
Banerjee also retweeted her Tuesday's post on Facebook alleging that the note ban was a "big scam" which was announced to help vested interests convert black money into white money.
"Demonetisation was not to combat black money. It was only to convert black money into white money for vested interests of the political party in power (sic)," she alleged.
Demonetisation a move to convert black money into white with ease: Lalu
Launching a blistering attack on the BJP, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad Yadav said the move served the purpose of "converting black money into white with greater ease".
RJD held rallies and staged demonstrations across Bihar to protest demonetisation.
"Black money was converted into white with greater ease as a result of the note ban. The poor were fooled into believing that it was a step keeping their interests in mind," former Bihar chief minister Yadav said.
Mocking at the "Kala Dhan Virodh Diwas" (anti-black money day) being observed by the BJP to celebrate one year of scrapping of high value currency notes, Prasad said: "Exactly one year has passed since Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced his decision to ban notes (of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 denominations). While it was touted as a major step against black money, till now the government has not been able to tell the people how much black money has been flushed out of the system."
"We are hitting the streets to remind the people of the hardships they had to face. So many people had died standing in queues and so many have lost their livelihoods as a result of this whimsical step," Prasad said.
On November 8, 2016, at 8 in the evening Modi, in a televised address to the nation, scrapped Rs 1,000 and old Rs 500 notes. He said the move was meant to put an end to black money and curb the flow of fake currency in the economy.
With inputs from PTI.