A day after a RBI report marked the note ban initiative a failure, Congress president Rahul Gandhi mounted an offensive against the Modi government, calling demonetisation a scam to benefit crony capitalists. Addressing media personnel on Thursday, Gandhi said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi owes an explanation to Indians over demonetisation as to why he 'inflicted such a deep wound' when more pressing troubles persisted.
"Prime Minister Modi should answer why he inflicted a deep wound like demonetisation when issues like unemployment and low GDP rate remained," Gandhi said during the press conference.
The Congress chief alleged that money was taken from common people and handed over to crony capitalists under the guise of demonetisation. "Demonetisation was not a mistake but attack on you (the people of India). The intention was to help his 15-20 crony capitalist friends by taking money from the common man and filling their pockets," he said during the press conference.
Gandhi further stated that PM Modi owes an explanation to the youth of the country also as demonetisation devastated the economy and led to unemployment.
Turning his guns towards the controversial Rafale deal, Gandhi questioned why a fighter jet worth Rs 520 crore was bought for Rs 1,600 crore. He even challenged the Modi government to form a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) to scrutinise the Rafale deal.
Directing his questions towards the Prime Minister, Gandhi asked, "Why did you buy an aircraft of Rs 520 crore at the cost of Rs 1,600 crore? Who were you trying to benefit?"
In response to Congress' continuous onslaught over the Rafale deal, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had recently stated that the deal signed by the incumbent government with France is cheaper that what was negotiated during the UPA regime.
Rafale is a French twin-engine multi-role fighter jet designed and built by Dassault Aviation. Rafale jets are considered to be one of the most potent combat jets globally. India and France signed a deal worth 7.87 billion euros (Rs 59,000 crore approximately) on September 23, 2016 for 36 Rafale jets. The delivery of the aircraft will start from September 2019.
Congress has been accusing massive irregularities in the deal, alleging that the government was procuring each aircraft at a cost of over Rs 1,670 crore as against the Rs 526 crore finalised by the UPA government.
Edited by Vivek Punj with PTI inputs