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Explain benefits of note ban to people, Amit Shah tells BJP lawmakers

New Delhi: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Amit Shah on Friday asked party lawmakers to spend a week in their constituencies to explain the benefits of demonetisation to the people.

According to a report in NDTV, the BJP chief’s advice was in response to complaints from within his party that if the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes had been carried out by consulting a wider range of experts, it could have been executed more smoothly.

In a scathing response, Amit Shah, in a meeting of BJP lawmakers attended also by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, said, “This is not the government of Manmohan Singh or Narasimha Rao that people sit from 7 am morning till 7 pm in the evening to make small changes or bring in minor reforms. This government is about making fundamental changes.”

He stated that senior people in the government had taken the decision, and that ‘to change the country, sometimes tough decisions are taken.’

BJP leaders reportedly conveyed to Shah that the PM’s approval among the public remains high, but that the government must ensure that the cash shortage is removed urgently, especially in view of the upcoming elections in Uttar Pradesh.

The Opposition has taken the fight to the government over the demonetisation issue, blocking any attempt to conduct Parliament proceedings smoothly. While some Opposition parties have supported demonetisation, others like the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) have alleged that it is a scam.

Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das on Thursday said that 90 per cent of the 2 lakh 20 thousand ATMs in the country had already been recalibrated. However, continuing cash shortages especially in towns and rural areas as well as discovery of large amounts of cash in new notes during Income Tax raids across the country, has provided fresh ammunition to the Opposition and other critics of the government.

PTI