New Delhi: Continuing its attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi over demonetisation, the Congress on Friday said he was “not worthy” of being trusted and accused him of being “scared” of entering Parliament.
“He is scared of entering Parliament because he knows he will not be able to give answers to the questions that are being raised and will be left exposed. He should know that the country is not changing but is actually burning because of demonetisation,” Congress leader Kapil Sibal told media.
“In Rajya Sabha, he is silent. When he comes to the House, he will be asked questions. If asked questions, he would be expected to answer. If he doesn’t answer, then he will be exposed. People will realise that the Prime Minister’s knowledge may be deficient on certain topics,” he said. Sibal also claimed that the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party had the time to deposit cash and purchase land as they had all the information about the move to demonetise the high value currencies.
“Does the Prime Minister think that all the leaders in the opposition are black money hoarders? Then he says they are worried because they were given no time.” He said sarcastically, “The BJP had a lot of time. They had all the information. They deposited cash and purchased land.”
Sibal said according to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) data for 2015-16, 2,203 crore pieces of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes were needed to be printed. Till November 18, Rs 1.03 lakh crore has been withdrawn and Rs 33,000 crore has been exchanged, he said. “Rs 1.3 lakh crore has been pumped into the economy. What is the value of the currency which is demonetised, it is Rs 14 lakh crore? They have four printing presses for currency and in 2015-16, the intent was to create 2,203 crore pieces. The amount printed was 2,012 crore pieces. This is in one year, in two shifts. Based on this, the time required for the currency notes to be printed is at least six months. RBI has said that in the rush two variants of notes have been printed,” he said. He also said that there are only 19 issue offices of RBI that provide currency to banks and wondered how the banks will get all this money in such a short period of time.
Noting that when Modi first entered Parliament, he had called it a temple, the former Union Minister said that “now he doesn’t care about the traditions and etiquette of Parliament”. “He will inaugurate a book on the Constitution, yet not give the Constitution the dignity it deserves,” he said. He also criticised the government, saying that it has changed the rules 172 times since November 8, the day it took the decision on demonetisation.
Slamming Modi for “continuously evading” Parliament, Sibal said: “It seems the Prime Minister is afraid of his own party members otherwise why doesn’t he come to Lok Sabha where his party (BJP) has absolute majority? “Modi promised he would bring back Rs 80 lakh crore black money to India. Has he fulfilled that promise? He said he’d bring Lokpal, has he implemented it? Which promise has he fulfilled? Why should we believe him? We have no faith in this Prime Minister. He isn’t worthy of trust,” he added. “The Prime Minister said the situation will normalise in two days. Did it happen? Finance Minister (Arun Jaitley) said situation will normalise in two weeks. Did it happen,” he asked.