- Rahul Gandhi cited the demonetization exercise as a painful incident for many people
- Gandhi called the excercise a "dictatorial decree of a king"
- He claimed that currently there are Rs 31 lakh crore black money in circulation
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday cited the demonetization exercise of 2016 to attack Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying this "dictatorial decree of a king" caused grave harm to the people and the country will never forget the "pain". In a Facebook post in Hindi, Gandhi said that on November 8, 2016, the people of the country were made to stand in queues in the name of demonetisation.
"People yearned to withdraw their own money, there were marriages in many homes, children and elderly were undergoing treatment, there were pregnant women but people did not have money. Many people died after waiting in line for hours," the former Congress chief said. In 2022, the RBI was quoted as saying that more than 101.9 percent of Rs 500 currency notes and 54.16 percent of Rs 2,000 notes that reached the bank, are fake, he said.
Gandhi said in 2016, there was Rs 18 lakh crore 'cash in circulation', and now there is Rs 31 lakh crore 'cash in circulation. "The question is, what happened to your 'Digital India', 'Cashless India', Mr. Prime Minister?" Gandhi asked. "At the time of demonetisation, I said it was a 'national tragedy'. Don't be under any misunderstanding -- Modi ji did not make a mistake, this was done deliberately so that lakhs of crores of loans of 'Modi-friend' capitalists can be waived from the money of common people and their black money can be made white," Gandhi alleged.
"A dictatorial decree of the king" has caused harm to people that they would never forget, he said. The country will never forget the pain of demonetisation, Gandhi added. On November 8, 2016, Modi announced the demonetization of old Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 banknotes with a stated purpose to wipe out the black money and stem terrorist funding.