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Cong questions PM's demonetisation figures in I-Day speech

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The Congress today questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi over figures quoted in his Independence Day speech on demonetisation, and asked him how he knew that Rs three lakh crore had come into the banking system when the RBI was still counting notes.

Senior Congress spokesperson Ghulam Nabi Azad said the claim made by the prime minister yesterday of Rs three lakh crore getting into the banking system post-demonetisation, is in clear contrast to what the RBI has said.

"The prime minister said Rs 3 lakh crore which were not in the banking system have come into it. We ask the prime minister, how much money has come in after demonetisation. We were told that the RBI is still counting...It may take decades to count.

"When RBI is still counting then how has the prime minister come up with this Rs 3 lakh crore figure...Two contrary stands are being taken by the prime minister of India and the Reserve Bank of India," he told reporters.

Azad, the leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha, said this is a big question, as either the prime minister or the RBI is lying.

"Since the counting of money is in progress, how can the prime minister make this claim. Is he now befooling the people of India? If this information is with the prime minister, then why the reserve bank did not share this information in Parliament," he asked.

He further said both the prime minister and the RBI have to answer as to who is lying.

He also raised questions over the recovery of Rs 75,000 crore in black money, even as the RBI is still counting the money and is yet to come up with a substantive figure.

"If the RBI is yet to segregate between the fake money and the black money, post-demonetisation, then where did this figure come from?" Azad asked.

On Kashmir, the Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha said while the country has seen the prime minister embracing everyone across the world, no one has ever seen him embracing Kashmiris.

Attacking Modi for talking about uniting the country, Azad said the prime minister is calling to unite India which it already is, but "his own people like the RSS" are breaking India.

"The prime minister is talking about uniting India, but India is already united and he should tell the Sangh people not to break India," he said.

The Congress leader also slammed the Prime Minister and his government over recent incidents like the row surrounding broadcast of the Tripura chief minister's Independence Day speech and the Gorakhpur hospital tragedy in which 71 children died.

Azad said Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar's address was not broadcast on Doordarshan and All India Radio as he does not speak about the BJP and its achievements, and claimed there was an "undeclared emergency" imposed on the media.

"With each passing day, it has become very hard for the opposition parties to make their voice reach the people of the country. This type of censorship has been seen by no country in the world. This is shameful for this government.

"Why don't they declare Emergency straightaway for the censorship of the media, so that at least we will have some solace, we will have some sort of satisfaction that OK nothing can happen because there is Emergency," he said.

Seeking to corner the Centre over Gorakhpur tragedy, Azad said the prime minister dubbed the "Gorakhpur incident a natural calamity but actually it was a man-made calamity".

He said the truth will never come out if a probe will take place under Modi's supervision because he would not issue a report against his chief minister, and thus called for a probe by a sitting judge of the Supreme Court.

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi also attacked the prime minister on his Independence Day speech cornering him on low employment rate in the country.

"The PM did not mention yesterday that India today has the highest rate of unemployment it has had in the last eight years," he said.

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

First Published: Wed, August 16 2017. 22:07 IST