Dubbing demonetisation as another 'jumla' of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress today posed a set of questions to him demanding answers and said it has brought the economy and agriculture sector to a halt.
Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala attacked the Prime Minister for avoiding Parliament and not answering to concerns raised by elected representatives.
"Modiji has now given a new 'jumla' of tiding over the colossal crisis within 50 days. PM needs to traverse the distance from 'rhetoric' to 'reality' for the nation to progress, develop and move ahead," he said.
"By a single unwitting and disastrous decision, Prime Minister Modi has demonetised the entire nation."
Surjewala claimed the Modi government has changed the rules and directives on demonetisation 105 times in last 19 days.
"In last 19 days have seen tragic deaths of 80 innocent individuals. What was their fault? Why is ordinary Indian not permitted to withdraw his/her hard-earned money from their own account?
"Government must tell which one out of these is a thief and who, out of them, is hoarding black money? Crores of people standing in lines outside banks/ATMs are neither thieves nor black money hoarders," he said, adding that Modi must answer these questions raised.
Surjewala said Modi promised to bring back Rs 80 lakh crore of black money from abroad within 100 days and deposit Rs 15 lakh in every Indian's account, but even after a lapse of nearly 1000 days, "this has become a 'jumla'".
He said, "The Prime Minister has dealt a blow by sucking out the availability of cash, thereby bringing the entire business, enterprise and trade of ordinary people in the informal sector to a grinding halt."
The Congress leader said the entire informal sector comprising 90 per cent of India is in deep distress and paralysed on account of the demonetisation decision.
He added that the small and medium industries are shutting down with jobs being lost on a daily basis as a result of demonetisation.
The embargo on all cooperative banks, rural development banks, primary land development banks and cooperative credit societies from either changing money or dispensing new notes has hurt the agricultural economy.
"The entire country suffers from lack of any preparation whatsoever and hourly change in the rules and decisions on demonetisation," he said.
He also accused Modi of paralysing the entire agricultural economy as banks do not have cash and ATMs do not have notes and the entire country is suffering.
Surjewala said the Modi government has not demonetised the
currency but in reality has ended up demonetising the economy, the jobs, demonetising the trade and businesses, demonetising the agricultural and rural sectors and essentially demonetising the people of India.
"Blinded by the arrogance of numbers, Narendra Modi is unable to fathom the pain and anger of India's 125 crore people for wiping out their livelihood and creating a colossal sense of fear and insecurity. As pointed out rightly by former PM Manmohan Singh in Parliament, demonetisation is a case of 'organised loot and legalised plunder'," he said.
He termed demonetisation as "the biggest scam" of independent India "indulged in one stroke by a dictatorial regime causing never ending pain to the common people of India".
Hitting out at Modi for not speaking in Parliament, the Congress leader said, "He indulges in theatrics - laughing at people's misery and shedding crocodile tears when cornered, but has no time or accountability to the temple of democracy i.E. Parliament. It is time that Narendra Modi answers some important questions."
He said crores of people are standing in lines outside banks/ATMs are neither thieves nor black money hoarders and government must tell which one out of these is a thief and who, out of them, is hoarding black money?
"The truth is that Modi government has branded the entire country as 'criminals'," he alleged.
He also asked why ordinary Indians are not permitted to withdraw his/her hard-earned money from their own account as no law permits such a dictate as is being forced upon people by Modi government in violation of the Constitution.
He said demonetisation will deeply hurt the national income, lead to a decline in GDP of 2 per cent to 3 per cent, discourage private investments (which are already falling in two years of Modi government) and suck money out of the system.