Demonetisation could be a mega-scam: Rahul Gandhi

Mumbai, Nov 15 (IANS) Flaying the Centre for the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes, Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi said on Tuesday that “it was based on one person’s thinking and could turn out be a mega scam”.

“The big black money players have been allowed to go scot-free by the Prime Minister… People like (Vijay) Mallya and Lalit Modi are sitting abroad,” Gandhi said, speaking to mediapersons here late on Tuesday night.

He claimed that most economists with whom he discussed the issue said the demonetisation decision of November 8 was not thought out properly and was based on “one person’s thinking”.

Gandhi, who arrived here late in the evening in connection with a court hearing in Thane on Wednesday, was interacting with mediapersons at the MCA Club in Bandra.

“Do you see any black money players in the bank queues? There are only farmers, government servants and commoners… Demonetisation has resulted in massive inconvenience to the people and must be sorted out as soon as possible,” he said.

He pointed out how on social media networks, Bharatiya Janata Party leaders were seen holding wads of cash in their hands. “Where did they get this money from?” he demanded.

On Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speeches on this issue, Gandhi sarcastically said: “A couple of days back he was laughing and the next day he was crying… He should decide what he wants to do.”

Referring to Modi’s criticism of him standing in a bank queue in New Delhi to withdraw cash, vis-a-vis the Prime Minister’s aged mother Heeraba doing the same on Tuesday in Gujarat, Gandhi said: “My approach and Modi’s approach are totally different… I shall not comment on his Mataji (mother).”

Earlier, Gandhi was received by top state Congress leaders, including MPCC President Ashok Chavan, Mumbai Congress President Sanjay Nirupam, AICC general secretary Gurudas Kamat, Leader of Opposition in Maharashtra Assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil, a large number of enthusiastic party workers and others.

On Wednesday morning, Gandhi is scheduled to attend a court hearing in Bhiwandi, adjoining Thane district, on a defamation case filed by a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh activist, Rajesh Kunte.

The private complaint by Kunte was lodged against Gandhi who had alleged that Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin was a RSS worker around two years ago.

In his plea, Kunte said that during a pre-election rally in Bhiwandi in March 2014, Gandhi had obliquely hinted that a RSS worker had killed Mahatma Gandhi.

Last year, the Bombay High Court had rejected Gandhi’s plea for interim relief in the criminal defamation matter and later he had filed a special leave petition in the Supreme Court which was subsequently withdrawn.

Stating that Kunte’s case was based entirely on his (Kunte’s) personal beliefs unsubstantiated by relevant material, Gandhi had appeared before the Bhiwandi Magistrate court in May this year.