No answers


The BJP-government does not appear to be a in a mood to come up with credible answers to the questions raised by various opposition political parties mainly Congress on the issue of demonetization and Rafael aircraft deal. In fact after the press conference of Congress president Rahul Gandhi questioning the demonetization decision of the BJP-government on November 8, 2016, the reaction of the ruling party has been more of counter-allegations. The drama of allegations and counter-allegations has been going on since the demonetization was announced by the BJP government. The centre has shown no readiness for being accountable to the Parliament or the public on all the major issues and mounting attacks on the opposition parties for their alleged non-cooperation in carrying forward the ‘development mantra’. Three consecutive sessions of the Parliament have been wiped off without any business in the last one year particularly after the Goods and Services Tax (GST) implementation. Both the decisions of the BJP-government have been described as scandals of the worst order by the opposition parties but the former has not come out with clear answers on major issues. The allegations by Rahul Gandhi that BJP chief Amit Shah converted his black money into white in one of the Gujarat Cooperative Banks of which he is a directors to the extent of Rs 700 crore has also been met with only labelling Congress as ‘Jhooti Party’ instead of denying the charges. The question how such a large sum was exchanged by one single political person when the rules for the common masses were only up to Rs 5000 for exchange of old currency notes in the banks. No satisfactory answer has been given by the ruling NDA. Apart from this, the report of the Reserve Bank of India released a few days back stating that 99.3 percent of the demonetized high value currency of Rs 1000 and Rs 500 has come back to the banks does not show where the black money has disappeared. If the demonetization move was aimed at taking out the black money, then this decision has been a miserable failure. Over one hundred precious lives of the people were lost while standing in queues while exchanging old currency notes with the newer ones besides causing hardships to the people across the country. Apart from this, the allegations that only one score of crony capitalists benefitted from the demonetization move, the centre has preferred to maintain a cryptic silence. The three points raised by the BJP chief Amit Shah have propped up more questions instead of answers on this issue while he maintained silence over conversion of Rs 700 crore of black money by him. The 15-point replies defending demonetization and GST implementation by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley do not justify the centre’s decisions to a large extent. It appears to be the old assertion of the BJP-government which just wants to level allegations against the Congress and the successive government that ruled the country in the past. The economic slowdown and havoc played by demonetization and GST implementation with the agriculture and rural economy have found no satisfactory replies from the government. The cash shortages leading to crashing prices of agriculture products across the country leading to hardships to the farmers have further led to mounting debts of the farmers. There is no reply from the government on the issue of debt relief measures for the farmers costing far less money compared to the written off debts of the corporate houses in the country. Rough estimates put the losses to the Public Sector Banks (PSBs) at Rs 5 lakh crores in the last four years. The centre has again maintained a studied silence over the entire issue and refused to disclose the names of the corporate houses, who have become crony capitalists. Same is the case with the Anil Ambani, who has become an agent for Rafael aircraft deal after having floated a company just ten days before the deal was struck by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The demand for a Joint Parliamentary Probe on demonetization and Rafael deal has been shrugged by the ruling BJP. If the BJP-government has nothing to hide, there should be no reluctance for accepting this demand of the opposition parties and have a Joint Parliamentary Probe on not these two major issues but also others by virtue of which a large section of the society has suffered for no fault of theirs.