With election dates in Uttar Pradesh likely to be announced next week, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Saturday launched another attack on the BJP over notes ban, by handing out cheques worth Rs 2 lakh each to 14 families whose relatives died in banks or ATM queues.
In the first such move by any government in the country ever since demonetisation was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 8.
Among those handed cheques by the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister were 60-year-old Muni Lal and his mother from Mahoba in Bundelkhand district. Muni Lal’s 80-year-old father had died in a bank queue last week. “It is so terrible that people are having to face such hardships for their own money,” said Lal after receiving the cheque from Akhilesh.
With an eye on the upcoming UP elections, Akhilesh amplified this sentiment at the function, insisting all the while that it’s not politics.
“Initially there was a lot of euphoria over this notebandi, now the same people who were enthused about it are now saying it’s the worst thing. Elections are coming up and I am totally hopeful that these people who have suffered will teach a lesson to such governments,” the UP Chief Minister said.
His move came on a day the BJP’s month-long Parivartan Yatras, which happened in the backdrop of demonetisation, came to an end in Lucknow. Prime Minister Modi had held multiple rallies in the last month in UP, pitching the note ban as a major poll plank for the BJP.
“The Prime Minister has been the first to accept that all the hardships are most unfortunate and any death is sad, but what is sadder is the Samajwadi Party’s move to politicise it, simply because they have no other issue,” said Rita Bahuguna Joshi, who recently moved from the Congress to the BJP.