Demonetisation debate: Anand Sharma attacks, Goyal defends

Aparna Parekh

On Wednesday the Upper House of Parliament suspended daily business of the House to hold a discussion on demonetisation of currency.

Congress’ Anand Sharma tore into the government on the issue.

Sharma questioned the demonetisation but vouched his party’s support in the fight against black money and corruption. He highlighted the plight of the common man who has to stand in queues for hours to get access to his own money.

Sharma lashed out at the Prime Minister for calling the poor people who are queueing up for days, criminals and scamsters.

“In his speech in Goa, Prime Minister Narendra Modi called the poor people criminals and scamsters…He should apologise for his comment,” lashed out the Deputy Congress Leader of the House, Anand Sharma.

Sharma also highlighted and criticised another of PM Modi’s statement.

“If PM Modi says that he is being threatened, the country should know who wants to kill him,” questioned Sharma.

PM Modi in an emotional speech in Goa had said that he was risking his life to flush out black money from the economy.

Sharma also raked up the rally PM Modi had in Ghazipur earlier this week.

“Was the payment for the Ghazipur rally made in cheques and credit card?” attacked Sharma.

He turned the House’s attention to BJP leader and mining baron Gali Janardhana Reddy’s daughter’s wedding where he is reported to be spending ₹ 500 crores.

“Their (BJP) leader is spending ₹500 crores on a wedding and they want to fight black money,” mocked Sharma.

Sharma also alleged that the information about demonetisation was secretively leaked.

“BJP units have deposited crores,” alleged Sharma.

Soon after Anand Sharma finished speaking, union minister Piyush Goyal addressed the House.

While applauding and justifying PM Modi’s move to demonetise currency, Goyal said, “Today the entire country is welcoming Prime Minster’s move.”

“ For the first time in this country, the honest have been awarded and the dishonest people have been punished,” added Goyal.

He also countered Congress’ allegation that the information was secretively leaked.

On the inconvenience being faced by the people, Goyal argued that the “people are willing to undergo difficulty for a few days” for the larger good. The move has “protected the honest man’s money…it will end up inducing honesty among people” explained Goyal.

“I am confident that public is understanding the initial problems because the decision was kept a secret. No honest tax-payer will lose a single rupee. The loss will be of those who have amassed wealth through corruption and black money and the public should also support the government in the move,” Goyal assured the House.

 

The Government in its defence also denied playing politics on the matter as alleged by the Opposition.

“There is no politics in it. It is a step taken in national interest…If anyone has the strength to take on black money and corruption, it is the BJP government and Narendra Modi,” said Goyal.

Goyal said some pain and difficulty in the implementation of such a decision is inevitable but despite that the people have strongly supported the move.