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3:11 pm - Tuesday November 22, 7898

Noteban anniversary: BJP, Opposition slug it out

Agencies, New Delhi

The first anniversary of demonetisation move passed off on Wednesday with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the ruling dispensation singing its laurels while the opposition making a blistering attack on the government.

While Prime Minister Narendra Modi posted a video on Twitter and said, “I bow to the people of India for steadfastly supporting the several measures taken by the Government to eradicate corruption and black money”, a number of Union Ministers took to social networking sites, listed out “achievements” of noteban and said the move had only given positive direction to the Indian economy.

Leading the charge for opposition, the Congress party said that the move has brought in immense suffering to common people and also resulted in compromising the autonomy of Reserve Bank of India.

At a protest meeting in Delhi, senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said the government should have shown sensitivity and condoled the deaths of young and old – as people suffered standing in serpentine queues.

“Instead, they are celebrating today,” he said. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley defended the government move and said the issue related to Benami transactions is likely to come up before the GST Council. However, the NDA ally Shiv Sena mocked at the Modi government and party activists in Nashik district performed a ‘shradh’ ceremony (post-death last rites) of the Centre’s note ban policy.

In south, notwithstanding Prime Minister reaching out to the DMK, MK Stalin on Wednesday slammed the centre and lamented that: “November 8 has just turned to be a day that brought despair to 125 crore people of the country” However, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar congratulated the Modi government describing last year’s ban on high value currency notes as an “effective action” against black money.

In a tweet, Mr Kumar wrote, “Demonetisation was an effective action against black money. Attack has now begun on benami properties. Congratulations to the Centre.” In quite a dramatic turn of events, 80-year-old Nand Lal, who had become face of anti-demonetisation move, reportedly made a volt face on Wednesday and hailed the government’s measures to fight corruption and black money.

The Congress and the the BJP also engaged in clash of words over the episode after Rahul Gandhi tweeted a photo of former army man Nand Lal to emphasize the hardships people faced. Later in the day when the video with voice of Nand Lal surfaced, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad took a pot shot at Congress party.

Among others, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari, Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani, Women and Child Welfare Minister Maneka Gandhi and Railway Minister Piyush Goyal also took to the micro blogging site to support and hail the move.

Transport Minister and former BJP chief Nitin Gadkari said, “Under the dynamic leadership of PM Modi, we will continue our crusade against the menace of black money and evil of corruption”.

In her posting, Maneka Gandhi said, number of Income Tax Returns filed increased manifold thus “strengthening the economic structure” of the country. In West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee lashed out at the Modi regime and said only the ruling party benefited by the noteban.

Posted in: Featured, Nation

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