New Delhi: The BJP on Wednesday announced it will mark the first anniversary of demonetisation on November 8 as ‘anti-black money day’, setting up a political tug of war with opposition parties which have planned to observe it as a “black day”.
Leading the charge, senior party leader and finance minister Arun Jaitley slammed the Congress over its stand against demonetisation, alleging it did not take a single significant step against black money when in power, and listed out a number of measures taken by the Modi government against the menace.
Union ministers and BJP office bearers across the country will build public opinion in favour of the government’s decision till November 8 when the party would hold programmes across the country to observe it as anti-black money day, he said.
The finance minister also rejected the criticism that note ban decision did not expose black money, saying it came from those who did not understand its objects.
Jaitley said that demonetisation has served all three objectives — to squeeze cash economy, promote digital transactions in business and widen the tax base. He pointed out that sale of gold through digital transactions doubled this time on ‘dhanteras’ festival.
Meanwhile, the Congress on Wednesday dubbed as a “crude joke” with the people the BJP’s plan to observe November 8 as “anti-black money day” and alleged that it is an attempt to divert public attention from the government’s “failures” and “betrayal”.
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi also took a swipe at Jaitley over a PIB tweet in which the government claimed that the “real GDP growth average is 7.5 per cent in last 3 years”.
“Dear Mr Jaitley, May the Farce be with you,” Gandhi tweeted.
Congress’ senior spokesperson Anand Sharma hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi and demanded that he introspect, apologise to the nation and demit office for his “reckless decision”.
The Left too ridiculing the BJP’s call to mark November 8 as the anti-black money day, CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury alleged that demonetisation helped the black money hoarders to turn their money “into white”.
He was speaking after leaders of the six Left parties announced “nation-wide protests” against the demonetisation policy on its first anniversary on November 8.
The CPM, CPI, CPIML, SUCI, Forward Bloc and RSP leaders decided that the Left parties will hold rallies and dharna in against the demonetisation policy which they alleged “ruined the Indian economy”.