Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday said the Reserve Bank of India (RBI)’s annual report has proven that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s demonetisation decision was a “huge scam” and its objective was to rob from the common people of India to benefit his crony capitalist friends.
Addressing a press conference at the Congress headquarters, Rahul Gandhi said demonetisation was no error of judgement on the PM’s part. He said it was implemented “deliberately” to return the favours done to him by his 15-20 crony capitalist friends, who have spent money for his marketing on television channels.
“Prime Minister Modi should answer why he inflicted a deep wound like demonetisation when issues like unemployment and low gross domestic product (GDP) rate remained,” Gandhi said.
The Congress chief, who is scheduled to leave for a pilgrimage to Kailash Mansarovar, said the bunch of crony capitalists who are friends with the PM have run up huge loans taken from banks. He said non-performing assets (NPAs) under the United Progressive Alliance government stood at Rs 2.5 trillion and were “under control”, but have increased to Rs 12 trillion under the Modi government. He said demonetisation was designed to help crony capitalists who are burdened under NPAs by taking money from India’s farmers, women and youth.
Rahul Gandhi said “Modi’s friends” used demonetisation to convert their black money into white, and pointed to the example of the Ahmedabad District Cooperative Bank, which he alleged collected over Rs 7 billion of demonetised money. He said BJP chief Amit Shah was a board member at the bank.
He also said demonetisation failed to achieve any of its objectives, destroyed millions of jobs in the informal sector and small businesses to help big companies such as Amazon and caused 2 per cent drop in GDP.
Gandhi said the Rafale fighter jet deal was also a scam to help one of Modi’s crony capitalist friends. The Congress also launched a social media campaign of “Bhrashtachari Janata Party”, or corrupt BJP. The Youth Congress also held a protest march in New Delhi on the issue of Rafale “scam”.
The Congress president said Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had not replied to three basic questions related to Rafale deal — why was the deal was awarded to an industrialist with no experience of aircraft manufacturing and with an NPA of Rs 450 billion at the cost public sector Hindustan Aeronautics HAL and why did the price of each fighter jet increase from Rs 5.2 billion to Rs 16 billion.