Reiterating that the November 8 demonetisation of high-value currency notes was “an immature decision”, rebel JD-U leader Sharad Yadav on Monday said recent RBI reports have vindicated his earlier denunciation of the note ban decision.
Yadav, however, welcomed the decision of cabinet reshuffle and hoped the new ministers would help in fulfilling the promises made by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to the people during 2014 general elections.
“BJP had made a lot of promises to people before 2014 Lok Sabha polls. Nothing has happened. Hope the new ministers will help the government fulfil at least a part of its promises in the remaining tenure,” Yadav told media persons here.
He did not make any comments on non-induction of Janata Dal-United members in the Union council of ministers and said as the JD-U members of Parliament and legislature had chosen a path different from him, let them comment on the issue.
“I had tried to be strict with Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for three years, but he kept changing his stand. So, I decided to part ways,” Yadav said.
Nitish Kumar had voted for the National Democratic Alliance’s (NDA) presidential candidate, Yadav said, adding that Kumar also appreciated demonetisation, which was a disaster to the national economy.
“From the report released by the RBI (Reserve Bank of IndiA), my statements on this (demonetisation) have been vindicated, which I made from time to time. Demonetisation has achieved none of the objectives the government targeted,” he said.
The JD-U leader accused the central government of cheating people in the name of demonetisation, saying due to the government’s decision to scrap old notes, farmers’ incomes were reduced by 50-60 per cent as they had to sell their produce at throw-away prices.
“The government decision of demonetisation was immature, hurried and without proper ground work, which left the people to bear pain and humiliation, and was ridiculous for the government of such a large democracy of the world,” said the Rajya Sabha member.
Terming November 8, 2016 — the day Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes were scrapped — as a “black day”, Yadav said the economy was yet to recover from the effects of the note ban.
“The government did not realise that mostly our labour was working in unorganised sector and what would happen to them. Almost three crore daily-wagers were affected with this single action of the government,” he said.
Yadav said that the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) under Narendra Modi was different from the NDA of Atal Bihari Vajpayee and L.K. Advani. “Vajpayee’s NDA had a national agenda but Modi’s government is without agenda.”
Asked if he would resign from the Rajya Sabha as the JD-U was trying to invoke rules regarding his disqualification from the upper house, Yadav said he would work as an opposition leader and still raise issues.
“Let the people decide whom to select or reject in the next general election,” he added.