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Manmohan, PC lash out at Modi over currency crisis

NEW DELHI

Former prime minister Manmohan Singh and his finance minister P Chidambaram on Wednesday attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi over demonetisation, saying that the country will suffer a loss of Rs1.5 trillion from the note ban and the ‘worse’ was yet to come.

“Demonetisation has hurt the country hard. Things have gone bad in the last two months, but worse is yet to come,” said Manmohan, addressing the Congress’ Jan Vedna Sammelan.

“The beginning of the end has come,” he added.

“Modi’s propaganda that the national income of India in the last two years has gone up, has failed… The 7.6 per cent growth rate of country has come to 7 per cent in only a few months as a consequence of steep fall in the GDP of the country,” the former prime minister, himself a well-known economist, said.

Speaking on the issue, Chidambaram questioned claims that a cabinet meeting took place before Modi’s November 8 announcement of demonetising Rs1,000 and Rs500 currency notes.

Chidambaram claimed demonetisation was Modi’s “unilateral” decision. “Demonetisation was the decision of one person. ‘I am the leader. I must decide’,” he said, mocking Modi and going on to add: “All will have to suffer because of the folly of one person.”

Pointing out that post-demonetisation the country’s growth rate forecast has come down from 7.6 per cent to 7 per cent, Chidambaram said for the loss of every one per cent in GDP growth, the country “will face a loss of Rs1.5 trillion.”

Meanwhile, for the first time in history, an Indian prime minister is being ridiculed across the world for his “incompetent” decision of demonetisation, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi said.

Meanwhile, claiming that demonetisation move has brought in a ‘super emergency’ in the country, the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress approached President Pranab Mukherjee seeking his intervention.

Agencies