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Demonetisation a Suicidal Attack, India Must Never Forget Over 120 Died Standing in Queues: Rahul Gandhi

The Congress chief said since 2016, 'economists around the world have analysed the crippling impact of demonetisation, concluding that demonetisation was an unmitigated disaster that didn't meet a single of its stated objectives'.

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Updated:November 8, 2018, 7:11 PM IST
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Demonetisation a Suicidal Attack, India Must Never Forget Over 120 Died Standing in Queues: Rahul Gandhi
File photo of Congress President Rahul Gandhi (PTI)
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Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday termed demonetisation a “self-inflicted tragedy” and suicidal attack that destroyed millions of lives and ruined thousands of India's small businesses.

In a statement on the second anniversary of note ban, Gandhi said November 8 would “go down in the history of India as a day of infamy”. “Two years ago, on this day, Prime Minister Modi unleashed the tyranny of demonetisation on the nation. At eight that night, he appeared on television to deliver a unilateral announcement, that we now know didn’t even have the support of his own economic advisers,” he said.

Calling demonetisation a “unique tragedy”, Gandhi said “Mr Modi took 86% of India's currency out of circulation, bringing our economy to a grinding halt” when he took the decision.

“Demonetisation was a tragedy. India has faced many tragedies in its past. Many a time have envious, external enemies tried to hurt us. But demonetisation is unique in the history of our tragedies because it was a self-inflicted, suicidal attack that destroyed millions of lives and ruined thousands of India's small businesses,” he said, adding: “The worst hit by demonetisation were the poorest of the poor, forced to queue for days to exchange their meagre savings.”

The Congress chief said since 2016, “economists around the world have analysed the crippling impact of demonetisation, concluding that demonetisation was an unmitigated disaster that didn't meet a single of its stated objectives”.

“And the list of these supposed objectives has grown over time. From a war against counterfeit currency and terrorism, to permanently removing the scourge of black money; from increasing savings to forcing a shift to digital transactions; not a single stated objective of the government's has been met,” he said.

Gandhi added that “more than a hundred and twenty Indians died in those queues. We must never forget them. Millions of small and medium businesses were smashed and the entire informal sector devastated”.

The Congress chief said, “On the second anniversary of the Prime Minister's monumental blunder, the Government’s spin-doctors, including our incompetent Finance Minister, have the unenviable task of defending an indefensible, criminal policy.” He added that “Modi's demonetisation cost India over one and a half million jobs and wiped out at least 1% from our GDP”.

Gandhi said India would discover, “no matter how the government tries to hide it”, that demonetisation wasn’t “just an ill-conceived and poorly executed economic policy with innocent intent, but a carefully planned, criminal financial scam”.

He said the Indian people would not rest till the full truth about demonetisation was not out.

Gandhi also tweeted in Hindi to call demonetisation a planned "brutal conspiracy" and a "shrewd scheme" to convert the black money of Modi's "suit-booted friends". He added that there was nothing innocent about this "scam" and claimed that drawing any other meaning out of it was an insult to the intelligence of the nation.

The Congress chief’s remarks came after former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's scathing assessment of the demonetisation exercise. He said the "scars and wounds" it caused are getting more visible with time and the decision's second anniversary is a day to remember how "economic misadventures" can roil the nation.
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