Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on Monday alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was working for a select few only and not concerned about the poor common man, who has been queueing up for hours outside banks and ATMs.
“I have gone to banks to see the situation myself in the morning. People there told me that they are facing a lot of inconvenience,” Mr. Gandhi said outside Parliament.
Both Houses were adjourned repeatedly as a combined Opposition was unrelenting in its protest against the demonetisation move.
Mr. Gandhi said people were alleging that cash was being taken out surreptitiously from the back doors of 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 through the back doors. 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.
Earlier in the day, Mr. Gandhi visited several ATMs in the city and spoke to people about their problems.
On the Prime Minister’s remark that the country would come out like gold after this exercise, Mr. Gandhi said, “For whom? “and added, “I feel the treasuries of the Prime Minister’s own 15 or 20 people’s will be filled up and their loans will be waived. Poor people who are in the queue will only suffer losses.”
Asked why the Opposition is not ready for a discussion, he said “We are going to discuss. We are ready for a discussion.”
On the Prime Minister’s absence in Parliament, he said, “What is the need for the Prime Minister 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 is in a new form these days. You cannot call him super Prime Minister also. One has to think to define him, a new word has to be coined to describe him.”
Mr. Gandhi also condoled the loss of lives in the train accident in Uttar Pradesh. He said the Prime Minister should first focus on improving safety and facilities for common man in trains, instead of planning to introduce bullet trains.
“Infrastructure of Indian Railways needs to be improved. Modiji has talked of bullet train with Rs 1 lakh crore investment. The focus is at wrong place. Focus should be on how to make travelling in trains safer for the common people,” he said.
Talking of need to reduce train journey time, he said, “If it takes two hours to reach a place then how it can be reduced to one hour. If it takes 20 hours then how we can make him reach in 10 hours.”
“But Modiji’s entire thinking is for 3000-5000 people. He spoke on bullet train but why did he not speak of track maintenance and safety?”