The BJP on Saturday continued to pitch the virtues of demonetisation and the gains that would accrue after the initial pain, but opposition parties kept up their attack while some cried foul over exempting political parties depositing scrapped notes from the tax net.Addressing a 'parivartan rally at Shahjahanpur in Uttar Pradesh, BJP President Amit Shah said that people are facing inconvenience, but the 50 days of hardship will provide relief from black money for the coming 50 years.Attacking political critics, he said: "Congress, SP, BSP, (AAP chief Arvind) Kejriwal are all just speaking of demonetisation. I cannot understand why they are so worried, what harm has demonetisation done them?"The Congress also was not in the least impressed by Shah's statement.Addressing a gathering at Karnataka's Belagavi, party Vice President Rahul Gandhi said that people's woes are not going to end in 50 days, and that the move would only damage the economy."I am telling you, nothing would improve in 50 days. I can give it to you in writing. You money would be locked in the bank coffers for 4-5 months. The economy would be destroyed," he said, adding that the real intention of the government was "to park the poor people's money in bank coffers" for months.
"Inki mansha hai gareeb se kheencho, ameer ko seencho (Their intention is to extort money from the poor to give it to the rich)," he said.He said that the government deliberately did not print sufficient currency lest people should withdraw their money."If the common people had withdrawn their money, it would have defeated his real intentions and purpose," Gandhi said as he accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of constantly shifting goalposts vis-a-vis the objectives of demonetisation.Threatening to launch a protest against the anti-people decision along with like-minded parties including ruling Janata Dal-United in Bihar after the 50-day deadline fixed by Modi, Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad said that Modi's "notebandi" would meet the same fate as Congress' "nasbandi" (forced sterilisation) unleashed during the Emergency in the 1970s. Meanwhile, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and her Delhi counterpart Kejriwal questioned the Union government's move to exempt political parties from paying any taxes over the Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes they deposited in their accounts post-demonetisation."If Rs 500/1000 are illegal tender, then how are they trying to show that there is a division between common people and political parties," Banerjee posed on Twitter.
Banerjee, also the Trinamool Congress supremo, alleged an ulterior motive in the exemption."Is there a motive? Are they trying to give a hidden message to cadre of one political party?...Even the timing of these statements show that there may be an ulterior motive."They need to clarify that #DeMonetisation means it is #DeMonetisation for all. Same rules for everyone," she said in a series of tweets.Joining the chorus of Mamata, Kejriwal claimed that most of the black money is in the hands of political parties."We demand that an independent commission should be set up and the account details of all the political parties over the last five years should be probed to investigate their source of funding," Kejriwal said at a press conference in Delhi.He also sought an "independent commission" to probe the accounts and source of funding of all political parties."You (Modi) talk of investigating the source of money if a common man deposits Rs 2.5 lakh individually but you exempt political parties from income tax on depositing crores of demonetised currency. This is not fair."