Shortly after former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram tore into the Modi government’s demonetisation drive, PC’s bete noire and present Finance Minister Arun Jaitley hit back at the Congress.
Reeling off example after example of how the drive has supposedly benefited the economy- for instance, huge amounts of black money have been unearthed, rogue banks and individuals have come under the scanner- Jaitley accused the Congress of obstructing the implementation of the government’s noble intentions.
A decade of UPA rule had made the economy a den of corruption and hoarding of illegal wealth, Jaitley said.
Repeatedly asserting that the sufferings being borne by the people are only temporary, Jaitley accused the Congress of inflating the tales of woe in order to score political brownie points.
When questioned why it was taking so long for the government to infuse fresh currency to abate people’s woes, Jaitley hinted that hitherto unprecedented schemes such as the demonitisation one cannot be fully implemented in a jiffy.
It’s worthwhile to note that the government till now has desisted from taking any proactive step to defend it’s demonetisation move, whether in Parliament or outside. It’s ministers have only made semi-conciliatory noises, which haven’t gone down too well with the Opposition parties. Modi, despite a plethora of barbs and agitated taunts being hurled against him, has refused to address Parliament on this issue and take questions from the Opposition.
Jaitley’s speech to the media might just be the first instance of the government coming out of its reluctance to answer hard-hitting and pressing questions on its historical move.