Mumbai: Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi tonight accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of “laughing” when 18-20 people died in queues outside banks and ATMs and termed the demonetisation of high currency notes as a decision sans rationale.
“Nearly 18 to 20 people died in queues (outside banks/ ATMs) and PM Narendra Modi was laughing. He should clarify whether he was laughing or crying,” he said, in an apparent reference to Modi’s remarks in Japan and Goa.
He also claimed that BJP people were alerted beforehand about the demonetisation.
“How can one explain the BJP people in West Bengal depositing crores in high-denomination notes just before PM’s announcement on November 8?” Rahul asked.
“BJP workers were seen holding up bundles of the new Rs 2000 notes, as seen from images on the Internet, before Modi announced this decision,” he told reporters in suburban Bandra tonight.
“This move by the Modi government will turn out to be a big scam,” Rahul said.
He also claimed that Finance Minister Arun Jaitley was kept in the dark about the announcement.
“I don’t think even Finance Minister knew about the demonetisation announcement,” Rahul said.
“The PM took decision without thinking. We don’t want to reverse it, but at least resolve the difficulties people are facing,” he said.
“Many economists say there is no rationale to this decision. They say it’s a decision based on political calculation,” he said.
“The entire Opposition united against Modi government’s demonetisation move which has resulted in massive inconvenience for people,” Rahul said.
“Go after the big players in black money. I don’t see that happening. We cannot let farmers and labourers stand in queues for months,” he said.
Asked to comment on Modi’s mother standing in a bank queue, Rahul quipped: “Mine and Narendra Modi’s styles are different. I won’t speak about his mother.