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Nitish does a U-turn, joins Opposition in questioning Centre over note ban

Nitish called on the Centre to come clear on what had been achieved by demonetisation so far



Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. Photo: PTI
File photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar in Patna. Photo: PTI

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Friday unleashed a stunner by siding with the Opposition against demonetisation, taking a complete u-turn from his previous stand on the matter.

Joining the panel discussion during the launch of former finance minister and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram's book "Fearless in Opposition" Nitish called on the Centre to come clear on what had been achieved by so far, asserting that there is no use in diverting attention from the issue.

"Dr Manmohan Singh saying that was monumental mismanagement was right. The Centre has to tell us what the benefit of it was. They cannot divert the issue.

When nowhere in the world cashless or less cash economy has worked, how will it work in a country like India?," the Chief Minister asked.

Calling on the Opposition to put up a united from against the ruling dispensation, Nitish further stated that the Centre needs to answer all questions regarding demonetisation, as it was about time.

"There must not be any question other than asking how much of black money has been recovered and how successful the policy has been and what is the road map for the future. It is the duty of the opposition to ask such questions. The opposition must formulate its own agenda and work on it. The opposition must unite itself, set its agenda and follow it," he added.

Justifying the change in his stand, Nitish stated that he had not immediately opposed because he thought it is a step towards eradication of black money, adding that it's been some time and there have no results.

"Now we must set everything aside and ask, how much black money was recovered and when will corruption be hit? What is the roadmap?" asked Nitish.

Ever since Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the demonetisation of high valued notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 through a televised address, Nitish Kumar had openly supported the move, even when the Janata Dal (United) had voiced out against it.

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First Published: Fri, February 10 2017. 20:53 IST