Taking on Prime Minister Narendra Modi on demonetisation issue, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on Monday alleged that the PM was working for a select few only and was not concerned for the poor common man, who has been queuing up for hours outside banks and ATMs.
“I have gone to the banks to see the situation myself in the morning. People there told me that they are facing a lot of inconvenience,” Rahul said outside Parliament.
Both Houses were adjourned repeatedly as the combined Opposition was unrelenting in its protest on the demonetisation issue.
Rahul said people were alleging that cash was being taken out surreptitiously from the back door in the banks for a few ‘selected people’ while there were long queues of common people waiting outside for hours.
“They said they are in the queue and deals are being made and cash is taken out from back door. And some selected people are given that cash. Those who are rich getting that and those who are poor they are made to stand in the queue.
“They will be in the queue for three days and then they will leave (without cash). People are facing losses because of this,” he said.
On PM’s remark that the country will come out like gold after this exercise, the Congress vice president asked, “For whom?” and added, “I feel the treasuries of the PM’s own 15 or 20 people will be filled up and their loans will be waived. Poor people who are in the queue will only suffer losses.”
Asked why opposition is not ready for discussion, he, however, said, “We are going to discuss. We are ready for a discussion.”
On the question of PM’s absence in Parliament, Rahul said, “What is the need for the PM to come to Parliament? These days he is at a different level. Neither he discusses with his ministers, nor he talks to anybody. Whatever he thinks, he decides on his own.
“Such a big economic decision was taken in the history of India and he did it after talking with three-four people. There was no planning. What will happen to farmers, poor people, fisheries industries in Kerala and Bengal? He did not think of them,” he said.
Taking a pot shot at Modi, the Congress leader said, “He is in a new form these days. You cannot call him super PM also. One has to think to define him. A new word has to be coined to describe him.”
Rahul also condoled the loss of lives in Sunday’s train accident in Uttar Pradesh and said the prime minister should first focus on improving safety and facilities for common man in trains, instead of planning to introduce bullet train.
“Infrastructure of Indian Railways needs to be improved. Modiji has talked of bullet train with Rs 1 lakh crore investments. The focus is at wrong place. Focus should be on how to make travelling in trains safer for the common people,” he said.
“He (Modi) spoke on bullet train but why did he not speak of track maintenance and safety?” Rahul said.