Mumbai: In a blistering attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, ally and Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thacerkay on Friday dubbed the demonetization of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 “disastrous” and warned it could backfire on the government.
“We are not opposed to eradicating black money from the economy. We strongly object to the manner in which it has been done without taking people into confidence and giving adequate time to prepare for it,” Thackeray said.
He wondered what was the need to bring new Rs 500 and Rs 2,000 notes after cancelling the old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes and said it was wrong to suddenly demonetize without making adequate advance arrangements.
Thackeray dared Modi to blow up his 56-inch chest to 5,600 inches and carry out a “surgical strike” on Swiss banks to bring back Indian wealth stashed there.
He sought an immediate end to the pain experienced by the masses on account of demonetization and stringent action on those who have hoarded undeclared money.
The Sena chief told mediapersons that the common people have been undergoing huge sufferings, waiting for hours in long queues to exchange their old currency notes and one man died in a queue in Mumbai on Friday.
“Who is responsible for his death? Will the people who have taken this decision (of demonetization) accept responsibility for his death?”
Drawing parallels, he said that only recently, during Diwali, people had worshipped Goddess Lakshmi (Goddess of Wealth) but now she has “disappeared”.
“Modi spoke of his ‘mann ki baat’ and ‘dhan (wealth) ki baat’, but did not consider the plight of the ‘jan’ (masses). They are undergoing misery outside banks and ATMs. Marriages are getting affected, people are facing problems in getting health care,” Thackeray said.
He lauded Modi for the “surgical strike” (against Pakistan) but warned him not to forget that the agonized people could carry out their own “surgical strike” and teach the Bharatiya Janata Party a lesson in the next elections.
“After this what? Will the government eye people’s bank lockers next? Will it install security cameras in everyone’s homes? People must now put up Modi’s photos as he is the only good citizen. They should also present Modi’s picture instead of Aadhar Cards in banks,” added Thackeray.
He referred to the demonetization of large denomination done by then Prime Minister Morarji Desai, and asked: “You know what happened to him?”
“Don’t forget, these very same people who are suffering now had elected you. Beware of their surgical strike during the elections,” Thackeray warned.
The Shiv Sena chief sarcastically added that after plunging the nation into chaos and bringing masses on the roads, Modi left on a foreign tour (Japan).