Slamming the BJP government over demonetisation, Senior Congress leader A K Antony on Friday said the third annivesary of the exercise was a 'black day' for the people and has proved 'catastrophic'.
Speaking to reporters here, he said the November 8 2016 decision of the government to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes has 'destroyed' the peace, happiness and livelihood of farmers and the unorganised sector, traders, small and medium scale industry sector.
"Today is a black day for the Indian people, who are suffering because of this decision. It was the beginning of this kind of catastrophe."
He also alleged that demonetisation has benefited only those close to BJP and all others, including businessmen, had suffered.
"Crores of youth all over the country and lakhs of working class people became unemployed," he said.
He also attributed the current economic 'crisis' to demonitisation.
Asked about the situation in Maharashtra, where the stalemate is continuing over government formation, he said Congress was in 'no hurry' and would adopt a wait and watch policy.
He alleged that the BJP and Shiv Sena had cheated people of the state,with government formation not yet in sight.
"Let us see what happens, we are not in a hurry... people voted for BJP and Shiv Sena believing they would form a government. But seems like they are unable to fulfill their promise. They have cheated the people of the state," he said.
He also said that "resentment" against BJP would increase in the coming days.
"We have seen how the saffron party had tried to poach the legislators from Congress and NCP in Maharashtra. Now there is a lot of resentment against the BJP and it will increase," Antony said.
Lashing out at the ruling NDA at the Centre, the former defense minister also said job creation "is in a coma."
"Job creation is in a coma. All sectors of the economy, especially the agricultural sector and the rural economy, remain on the ventilator.
According to the National Sample Survey, unemployment is at a 45 year high and shockingly still rising," Antony said.
He said the price of essential commodities was rising, with the price of onion reaching Rs 100.
"The GDP growth has gone down to 5 per cent. There are no new investments in the country. The industrial growth is just 1.1 per cent. Manufacturing growth is negative 1.2 per cent. The core sector is under performing and the export has come down," Antony said.
Antony termed India's decision not to sign the RCEP treaty in its current form as a 'victory' for the Congress and its chief Sonia Gandhi and leader Rahul Gandhi.
He said the Congress was all set to protest against the economic policy of the BJP government.
"We have already started the protests across the country. The first phase of protests will last till November 15 which will end with a massive rally," Antony said.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)