NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Sunday apparently compared Prime Minister Narendra Modi to a doctor who has performed a "nice surgery" by demonetising high value notes, but said that "lack of proper post operation care for patients has raised fear about their survival now".
"Currently, a lot of people are opposing the move, however, I was the first person to issue a statement in support of the decision, which was taken against black money.
"People in Delhi ask me about my opinion on demonetisation. I say the doctor has done the operation nicely, however the post surgery care was not taken properly and now there is a fear that whether patients will die or survive sans good post surgery care," Pawar told a gathering of party workers here, without naming Modi.
The NCP chief was the first politician to back Modi's announcement on November 8 to ban Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes. Pawar said the people from rural areas are affected by the decision as they are dependent on cooperative banks, which are not allowed to accept deposits in old notes or to exchange them with new legal tenders.
"Government is not accepting money from cooperative banks, because of which these banks in rural areas are suffering a lot. In the last few days, Rs 4,500 crore has been deposited in these banks by their customers, however, no big banks are ready to take these deposits," he said. The Maratha strongman said the co-operative banks are in a "dilemma" on how to store these cash deposits and repay interest to their customers, bulk of them farmers.
"In initial days after the decision, people were lauding the move, however, now when people are facing issues in paying their bills, they have started cribbing," Pawar quipped, hinting that initial enthusiasm showed by people post the demonetisation move may be on the wane. The former Union minister said it would take at least four to six months for the economy to recover.
Talking about the prospects of cashless transactions, Pawar said 92 per cent transactions in the country are done in cash and that "nobody in rural areas have cards."