Demonetisation has “changed the rules of the game” for all parties as black money will now be out of elections, BJP President Amit Shah on Tuesday said and asserted that the upcoming UP Assembly polls will be contested on performance and not on politics of caste and nepotism.
Shah also hit out at former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who has criticised demonetisation, saying that despite being an economist, he had brought the growth rate down “from 8 per cent to 4 per cent” while a “chaiwallah” PM has again raised it to 7.6 per cent.
Speaking at a programme ‘Agenda Aaj Tak’, the BJP chief said that people were supporting the Centre’s demonetisation move and it has also “changed the rules of the game by dealing a blow to blackmoney” which was used in elections.
“If it causes problems, it will cause problems for all political parties. It will be a level playing field. We want that black money is removed from the system, it is they who don’t want it,” Shah said.
Responding to a question about BSP chief Mayawati calling demonetisation as financial emergency, Shah responded with a jibe saying it was definitely so for her party.
“In the upcoming UP elections, the politics of caste, the politics of nepotism will be coming to an end and the politics of performance will take centre-stage,” he said.
Hitting out at political rivals, Shah said that till November 8, they were asking “what are you doing on black money and now they are saying why are you taking action against black money”.
He claimed that post demonetisation black money will not survive, because if is left in homes it will become junk and if it comes to banks it will become part of the system and will be taxable.
Asked about Singh’s criticism, Shah said that he is an economist who was at top financial positions for years from RBI to Finance Ministry to being Prime Minister.
“Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee was not an economist but he had taken the economy to a growth rate of 8 per cent.
“Then Singh became PM and left it at 4 per cent. Now a ‘chaiwallah’ PM has taken over and again raised it to 7.6 per cent,” Shah said.
It is Manmohan Singh, who has to answer questions rather than asking them, the BJP chief said. When he left the post, crores of people did not even have bank accounts, he said.
Shah said that after seeing Singh, he does not want to be an economist.
Meanwhile, senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy said his party needed to blend development with Hindutva and a “promising fight against corruption” for electoral victory even as he deprecated the way demonetisation exercise was being implemented.
Swamy said he supported the idea of demonetisation, but not the way in which it was being implemented.
The senior Rajya Sabha member, a known critic of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, criticised the Finance Ministry for lack of preparation before undertaking the exercise, saying an economist should helm it.
“Economic development is a must, but you can win the polls (even) if the economy is flattened,” Swamy said speaking on ‘Desh Ka Mudda’ (The issue before the nation) on ‘Agenda Aaj Tak’.
HC seeks RBI reply to plea on blind unable to identify notes
The Bombay High Court has asked the RBI to file within six weeks its response to a PIL highlighting difficulty faced by blind persons in identifying currency notes and coins in recent years.
A division bench headed by Chief Justice Manjula Chellur, hearing a petition filed by National Association for the Blind (NAB) on Monday, asked the central bank to submit its response and also allowed the petitioner to file a rejoinder within two weeks of RBI filing its reply.
Joaquim Rapose, secretary of NAB, filed the PIL through lawyer Uday Warunjikar seeking directions to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to include special features in coins and currency notes so the blind could identify them easily.
In his petition, Rapose said blind persons have started facing difficulties in identifying notes and coins of various denominations in the recent years.