In a vitriolic attack, the Shiv Sena on Wednesday compared the fallout of demonetisation on the Indian economy with the disaster wreaked by the atom bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.
“By dropping the ‘atom bomb of demonetisation’, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has reduced the Indian economy to Hiroshima and Nagasaki. ‘All are dead’,” the Sena said in an edit in party mouthpieces Saamana and Dopahar Ka Saamana.
Accusing Modi of “not heeding anybody”, the Sena said the Prime Minister did not listen to the advice of even the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) before spiking Rs 500 and 1,000 notes on November 8 last year.
“Just like the deaf-and-dumb parrots sitting in his Cabinet, (Urjit Patel) was appointed the RBI Governor and the country’s economy has been reduced to shambles,” the Sena noted.
The party led by Uddhav Thackeray is an ally of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party in the Centre and Maharashtra.
Recalling Modi’s recent statement in Baramati (Pune) that he seeks advice from the elder statesman, Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar, the Sena countered saying even he (Pawar) is now strongly critical of the move.
Initially, Pawar backed demonetisation but gradually he has become very critical of the move as it has struck the country’s masses, poor farmers and the economy.
“Pawar is saying that ‘initially it appeared that demonetisation was good, but it failed to bring out the black money’. This is because the ‘black money’ is stashed abroad and hence could not be brought out,” the edit reasoned.
However, it was the Indian economy and the rural cooperative economy which bore the brunt of the notes spike, including state and district cooperative banks and financial institutions or even the sugar cooperatives.
“The farmers depended on district and rural cooperative banking sector for carrying out their daily trade in agriculture produce and depositing their incomes. But demonetisation has declared it (their incomes) as ‘black money’ as the state and district banks were barred from exchanging old Rs 500 and 1,000 notes,” the edit pointed out.
It rued that the government spread canards terming these cooperative banks as the “hotbed of corruption”, which is an insult to the entire cooperative sector.
“The fact is that people like Vijay Mallya committed scams in the nationalised banks, not in the cooperatives. How many times we must scream this at the government?” the Sena asked.
“If Modi is truly taking Pawar’s advice, then Pawar must have definitely advised him not to perform the funeral of the farmers by labelling cooperative banks as corrupt, since the cooperative sector is the soul of the Maharashtra economy,” said the edit.
Even Pawar has acknowledged that over two months post-demonetisation, the Indian economy continues to be in tatters, the edit said.
“At least 50 per cent industries have been hit hard, 35 per cent employment has been affected, unemployment has shot up especially in rural areas and nobody is bothered about the common masses whose backbone has been crushed,” it added.
The edit cited a recent Assocham study saying over four million people have lost their jobs so far and the situation will worsen in the coming days.
“The people are completely demoralised by the move and we are very concerned about the country’s future. So we are expressing our deepest anguish,” the edit concluded.