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PM Modi picked pockets of people first, later claims of welfare schemes: Sitaram Yechury

In a stinging attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi over demonetization, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury alleged on Sunday that he had taken away the money of people like a “pickpocket” and contested the claim about economic growth not being affected much. Taking to Facebook, Yechury charged Modi with helping black money hoarders to exchange it with white money and said the government was “playing fraud” by claiming that the growth rate will be 7.1% despite the note ban.

The scathing remarks from the Marxist leader come a day after the ruling BJP hailed scrapping of old Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes calling it as a “sacred movement” that will lead to a clean economy. Yechury wondered how the saffron party can claim “victory against black money” when the government has not produced data on money that was returned to banks and restrictions on withdrawals continue. “Modi behaves like a pickpocket, who has picked pockets of the people first, and now says he will come out with welfare schemes,” Yechury said in the post.

Recalling that Modi had, in the run up to 2014 Lok Sabha polls, said that 90% of black is parked abroad, Yechury alleged that the Prime Minister was doing nothing on this front. Yechury expressed apprehension that the end result of demonetization, with time till March 31 to exchange scrapped notes, could be that banks will have more currencies than they have printed. The defunct notes can be exchanged at designated RBI counters after explaining reason for delay in depositing them by December 30.

“This will ultimately see that black money will become white and counterfeit will turn legal currencies,” he claimed.

Referring to RBI’s projection that the growth rate will be close to 7.1%, the Rajya Sabha member accused the government of “playing fraud”. Yechury said the figure was calculated by allegedly considering only the first six months of the present fiscal and not the months of October, November and December. “… and hence, they say that growth had not been affected,” he added.