Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi on demonetisation of old Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes, saying that it was a financial attack on traders which affected their cash flow and destroyed their businesses.
He said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi knew the consequences of demonetisation on small and medium businesses.
The Congress leader was addressing a massive gathering at Chalakudy in the district as part of the ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’, which entered Thrissur district on Thursday. The day’s march was attended by senior Congress leader and Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Ghelot, among others.
The BJP-led Central government had on November 8, 2016 demonetised 500 and 1,000 rupee notes and asked holders of such notes to deposit them in bank accounts by December 30, 2016.
Rahul Gandhi said many people felt that demonetisation was a mistake made by the Prime Minister and that he didn’t really understand its consequences.
“Brothers and sisters, this is not true. The Prime Minister understood what exactly demonetisation was going to do. Demonetisation was a financial attack on India’s traders. It was designed to destroy your cash flow and destroy your business. Narendra Modi understands very well that if you are a small trader, or a restaurant owner and if he cuts off your money flow for a few days, you are finished,” he said.
He alleged the GST was designed to break the back of small and medium traders.
“You know how demonetisation and GST harmed small and medium traders, the gold traders in the city and how it destroyed and continues to destroy the businesses,” the Congress leader said, adding that these measures did not affect the big businesses.
Continuing his attack on the Prime Minister, Gandhi said Modi allows five or six huge businesses to run in the country.
“Modi’s vision of India is that five or six huge businesses run this country and the complete destruction of small and medium businesses and the reason is simple. You do not give him funding. You do not control the television channels. You cannot control the narrative of this country,” he said.
Rahul Gandhi said that India was facing the highest rate of unemployment in the last 70 years and the highest inflation in decades.
“Our people are drowning in debt, inflation and unemployment. India’s debt increased from Rs 50 lakh crore in 2014, when the UPA left, to Rs 139 lakh crore in 2022 and if you calculate the debt per capita, each person owes Rs 1 lakh,” he said.
The ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ is set to cover a distance of 3,570 km in 150 days. It started from Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu on September 7 and will conclude in Jammu and Kashmir.
The Yatra, which entered Kerala on the evening of September 10, will go through the state covering a distance of 450 km, touching seven districts over a period of 19 days, before entering Karnataka on October 1.