The Congress on Wednesday termed demonetisation and the GST a "surgical strike" that had destroyed India's growth story and demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley apologise to the nation for the "mistake".
Addressing a press conference here, party leader Randeep Singh Surjewala along with chiefs of the party's frontal organisations said the "double whammy of demonetisation and GST" was being felt across the country.
"It has not only destroyed India's growth story but also rendered crores of people jobless and caused businesses to shut down. This is why the Prime Minister and the Finance Minister should apologise to the country," Surjewala said.
It would have been good if they had said demonetisation was a mistake, sought an apology and initiated a probe, he said, adding: "One's stature does not go down by seeking an apology but Modi is so drunk with arrogance of power that he is not willing to accept it (the mistake)."
Terming it an "organised loot", Surjewala said demonetisation led to economic chaos.
"It also exposes large-scale scam by the BJP across the country. Many were able to turn their black money into white while the poor were the worst sufferers. Was any probe initiated on that?" he asked.
"Another name for the scheme of turning black money into white is 'Notebandi'."
Congress and several other opposition parties observed the day as "Black Day".
Surjewala said November 8 was the first "death anniversary" of demonetisation and also of the 150 people who lost their lives while standing in queues at banks and ATMs.
Comparing demonetisation to the "note bandi" ordered by Delhi emperor Muhammad Bin Tughlak, he said the exercise caused immense misery.
"On the first anniversary of demonetisation, those who looted are celebrating and the common man is mourning loss of livelihood and food," Surjewala said.
When 99 per cent of the demonetised money came back into the system, he asked where was the black money and had terror acts and Maoist activities stopped in the country.
"The economy of the country incurred a loss of more than Rs 3 lakh crore. GDP growth declined by two per cent. The small and medium businesses were affected. In organised sector, 15 lakh jobs were lost and in the unorganised sector 3.72 crore people lost their jobs," said Surjewla and asked is this how Modiji is developing a "New India" and run a democracy.
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