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Congress uncomfortable with Centre's anti-corruption drive: Jaitley

ANI  |  New Delhi [India] 

Countering senior Congress leader and former finance minister P. Chidambaram's allegation that demonetisation is the "biggest scam of the year", Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday said the grand old party is uncomfortable with the anti-corruption campaign launched by the present government.

"The Congress Party is extremely uncomfortable with this anti-corruption campaign that the NDA government led by Mr. Narendra Modi has launched," Jaitley said.

The Finance Minister urged the opposition to rise above sloganeering and join the demonetisation campaign.

"I urge my friends in the opposition. We are ready to debate this issue in Parliament. Please rise above slogans and join this campaign," Jaitley told ANI.

Jaitley further pointed out two negatives that prevailed during the UPA regime.

"There were two striking features of that (Congress) regime. The first, it did not take a single step either against corruption or against black money. The second, as far as corruption scandals are concerned, they peaked during that period. So from 2G scam to coal block, to Commonwealth Games to the VVIP helicopter case," he said.

Jaitley asserted that the ones taking advantage of the present situation will not be spared and the "law will take its course."

Backing the government's move of demonetising high-denomination currency of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000, he said that things will be in place soon.

"We are now rapidly completing the demonetisation scheme, significant amounts will be injected in the next three weeks," he said.

Chidambaram earlier today, described the note ban as the "worst attack on the poor" and said "even a natural calamity would not cause such pain."

Referring to a series of raids across India in which brand new Rs. 2,000 notes have been found, Chidambaram also called it the "biggest scam of the year".

The Congress leader said most people, including him, were struggling to get cash because it was not available in banks and ATMs.

Chidambaram accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of "shifting goalposts" by initially pitching demonetisation as a move to check tax evasion and then talking about cashless economy.

The former finance minister called demonetisation a "thoughtless, meaningless" move that he said would damage 45 crore people of the country who depended on daily wages.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Tue, December 13 2016. 14:57 IST