Ever since Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced scrapping Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes, several NDA ministers and BJP leaders have been openly defending the move. However, an old video featuring BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi criticising the erstwhile UPA government’s move to demonitise currency notes issued before 2005.
“The latest gimmick of finance minister to demonetise currency notes before 2005 is basically an attempt to obfuscate the issue of black money,” Lekhi told reporters in the video when the current ruling party was in opposition.
“The present government is not in a position to measure the correct quantum of black money, because those who have black money will actually convert it into new currency notes. Now the sufferers are aam aurats (common women) and aadmis (men). Those who are illiterates and have no access to banking facilities, will be the ones affected by the diversionary measures,” Lekhi had said.
Lekhi had severely criticised the Manmohan Singh government’s move, citing that the people who had small savings would be targeted. This present scheme does nothing to stop black money from circulation, she added.
The MP then had also expressed concern that those having black money would convert their tenders with no difficulty as they had resources to hire people for sorting out the cash. Lekhi, who represents New Delhi constituency in the Lok Sabha, termed the decision anti-poor.
After coming under fire from opposition over the old video, Lekhi clarified on the issue, stating that the situation in 2014 was different from the present scenario.
Cut to 2016. Before embarking on his visit to Japan, PM Modi in a televised address to the nation announced the scrapping of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes. Soon, his cabinet colleagues and party members went extra miles to praise the decision, terming it a final showdown with black money and corruption. An army of BJP supporters went berserk, rolling out campaign one-liners to hail the Modi sarkar’s ‘surgical strike’ on black money and corruption. The opponents were subjected to incessant trolls and termed ‘anti-nationals’, as per norm.
Although the government’s decision has been appreciated by many across the society, but why did the ruling party oppose it when in opposition? A lot of questions need to be answered.