Former union minister and Congress leader M. Veerappa Moily on Friday dubbed as "baseless" Prime Minister Narendra Modi's assertion that the demonetisation drive was aimed at ending the menace of black money and alleged that it was an act of cowardliness on the latter's part not to speak on this issue in the Parliament.
"If he is so bold enough and if that is true then he should have spoken in the Lok Sabha or in the Rajya Sabha. This is absolutely sense of cowardliness, he is a coward to speak outside the House in the very same premises of the parliament but doesn't come to the Parliament and speak," he told ANI outside the Parliament.
Minister of State for Finance Arjun Ram Meghwal earlier in the day said the Centre did not inform about the scheme of demonetisation in advance so that the black money hoarders could not get time to prepare.
"If Prime Minister Modi would have informed about the demonetisation scheme in advance then the black money hoarders would have taken precautionary measures by the time the rule was implemented," Meghwal said.
"It clearly states that the Prime Minister was talking about the people, who are hoarders of black money. He did not take the name of opposition," he added.
Defending the Centre over demonetisation, Prime Minister Modi earlier in the day said the move had empowered the common man in the fight against black money, while taking a swing at the opposition and critics saying they were flustered as they were caught off guard.
"Those criticizing the demonetisation move don't have problem with government's preparedness; they have problem that they didn't get time to prepare," Prime Minister Modi said.
"The common citizen of India has become a soldier against corruption and black money," he added while stressing on the need for India to move towards a cashless society.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)