Picking holes in the Centre’s demonetisation move and the new Rs 2,000 notes, the Congress on Monday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of not following the law in issuing new banknotes and vowed to raise the matter inside and outside Parliament.
Senior Congress leader Anand Sharma accused the Prime Minister of plunging the country into “financial anarchy” and said that the introduction of Rs 2,000 denomination notes was an “illegal act” as the notification required to be issued under the RBI act for printing new currency was not issued, ignoring what is mandatory under the law.
A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) has also been filed in the Delhi High Court against the new Rs. 2,000 currency note that was issued after demonetisation of old notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000. The petitioner has alleged that the notification issued in this regard is ‘unconstitutional’.
Anand Sharma also hit out at the government’s move to put indelible ink on the fingers of those exchanging notes. A united opposition would raise the in Parliament besides making it a subject for a mass movement, the Congress said.
The deputy leader of the Congress in the Rajya Sabha alleged that the Prime Minister was deflecting attention from key issues and “fooling poor masses by masquerading as a crusader against black money under the garb of nationalism” and said those supporting the PM “and his apologists are illiterate in Constitution and in law”.
“The Prime Minister is squarely responsible for plunging the country into financial anarchy. There is an undeclared financial emergency without invoking the provisions of article 360 of the Constitution,” the former Union Minister said.
“The Prime Minister’s sensational and theatrical announcement of November 8 on demonetisation had no legal sanctity as the monetary policy is the domain of the Reserve Bank of India,” Sharma said.
The introduction of Rs 2,000 currency denomination was an illegal act as no notification was issued under the RBI act, which was mandatory, he said.
“Circulation of this illegal new currency of Rs 2,000 denomination contradicts government’s move to control black money circulation and is a continued illegality,” Sharma told PTI.
The Congress leader accused Modi of making misleading statements and violating the law and the Constitution.
Tearing into the government for its move to ink fingers of people exchanging notes, Sharma said, “Even dictators have not done what this government has done.
“Only the Nazis branded people. Our citizens and foreign guests are also being branded for withdrawing money. It is a matter of shame and concern. Incredible India has been overnight converted into Indelible India.”
Sharma said the replacements of old notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denomination were not yet ready and the scarcity had inconvenienced people.
“It is inflicting great suffering on the people, especially the poor, the farmers and the total workforce of 33 crore Indians in the unorganised sector and the farm labour,” he said.
He accused the Prime Minister of besmirching the image of India as a rule based country.
Opposition parties have come together in Parliament to take on the government on the demonetisation decision and its implementation.
(With PTI inputs)