CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury compared Prime Minister Narendra Modi with France’s queen Marie Antoinette, who has been memorized for her infamous reputation. The General Secretary of Communist Party of India (Marxist) was speaking on demonetisation in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday when he said that “now we have Modi Antoinette”.
He criticized the Centre’s step to ban high-value currency notes and to introduce new denomination in the House. Opposing the step he said that it does not stand on any reasons given behind it “whether its terror funding, black money, counterfeit currency or corruption”. He asked that “If you stop Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, do you think corruption will stop?,” and added that “now corruption will double with Rs 2,000 notes.” If none of the objectives are to be fulfilled by this, what is the meaning of this move, he again asked.
Referring to the consequences to ban the old high-denominations, he said this step has reduced the cash transaction in the country to mere 14 per cent. He further mentioned the inconvenience faced by the people for exchanging the banned currency notes and withdrawing the cash from banks and ATMs. Speaking in the House, he said the PM had said that 50 days more required for alternative arrangement to come into place. “Till those alternative arrangements are not in place, allow these notes to be transacted for all white transactions and public purposes including hospitals, transportation and railway tickets,” he said. Meanwhile, get the alternatives ready, he said.
Yechury also recalled the promises of PM Modi and said he told the people that 90 per cent of black money is in abroad. It will come back and we will get 15 lakh in our accounts but nothing has been done yet, added he.