Manmohan attacks Modi over note ban, GST

Rajkot, Dec 7: Former Prime Minister and senior Congress leader Manmohan Singh Thursday continued his tirade against his successor Narendra Modi over last year’s note ban, saying the incumbent Prime Minister had “betrayed” the trust of Gujaratis.

“The people of Rajkot and Gujarat trusted the Prime Minister and believed in the policy of demonetisation in the hope that their sacrifice would benefit India. Their faith and hopes have been shattered. Modiji has betrayed the trust that Gujaratis had reposed in him,” Singh said at a press conference here Thursday.

Four days ago, while addressing a gathering of members of Surat’s local business community, Singh had launched a scathing attack on Modi, saying he had failed to understand the “pains” his note ban and Goods and Services Tax (GST) decisions were going to unleash on the people of his own home state.

Singh has been campaigning for the Congress in Gujarat, Modi’s home state, which votes for a new Assembly December 9 and 14.

Modi has faced criticism from various quarters for pulling out 86 per cent of the country’s cash last year and the teething problems over the rollout of the GST that some blame for a sharp drop in the country’s economic growth.

“Ninety-nine percent of the demonetised currency came back to the banks. It is clear that a lot of black money got converted to white and corruption continues to flourish. One immediate impact of demonetisation has been on job sector. Therefore, demonetisation was an uninformed attack and a disastrous decision for our economy, said Singh.

Continuing to lambast the present dispensation at the Centre and the BJP, Singh said, “I invoke memories of more than 100 people who lost their lives while standing in queues as a result of demonetisation. I say with immense pain and a sense of deep responsibility that November 8 was a black day for our economy and democracy.”

Singh urged the people to demand the release of documents related to demonetisation. “We must demand the government release all the documents related to demonetisation in public domain for scrutiny.”

He also criticised the lowering GDP, saying: “To equal the UPA’s 10-year average, the economy will have to grow at 10.6 per cent in the fifth year, I would be happy if it were to happen but I frankly do not think it will.” (Agencies)

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