The BJP has taken on Rahul Gandhi's high-decibel demonetisation attack issued at a news briefing on Thursday, calling the Congress president's PM Modi-crony capitalists theory a 'hallucination'.
Taking to Twitter, the BJP has touted achievements of the Modi government, claiming the following:
It has gone on to allege that "Congress and Rahul Gandhi's pain on demonetisation is understandable" and accused him of ignoring the multiple benefits of demonetisation as highlighted by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his blog post.
Further, the BJP has counter-levelled a crony-capitalism charge at the former UPA government, accusing it of engaging in 'phone banking' to ensure friends of Rahul Gandhi got big loans that have resulted in NPAs. It has contrasted this with the Modi government, under which, the BJP says, 13 crore Indians have got Mudra loans. It concludes: UPA punished small and medium business while NDA helped the sector grow leaps and bounds
A massive debate over the efficacy of demonetisation had broken out following the revelation in the RBI's annual report that of the total value of now invalidated Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes that were in circulation on the day of demonetisation, i.e. November 8, 2016, 99.3% made its way back to the RBI. This prompted many parties to claim that the move had failed in clamping down on black money, as it was intended, to which the Finance Minister hit back saying that the larger purpose of the move was to make India a more tax compliant society.
Jaitley provided the following benefits of demonetisation:
This is the positive impact of the Demonetisation. More formalisation of the Economy, More Money in the System, Higher Tax Revenue, Higher Expenditure, Higher Growth after the first two quarters.
Just a short while after Jaitley's defence of demonetisation, however, Rahul Gandhi had held a news briefing where he had made a number of crony capitalism charges, claiming that the real reason behind demonetisation was to take money from the people of India and to give it to the Prime Minister's 15-20 crony capitalist friends. Aside from adopting a cavalier attitude and brushing off defamation suits that have been filed against Congress leaders for their repeated allegations of scam in the Rafale deal against Anil Ambani's Reliance group companies, Rahul Gandhi also introduced a new member into the 'crony capitalists', stating without providing any proof that American E-commerce giant Amazon was also one of the intended beneficiaries of demonetisation at the expense of India's SMEs.
The face-off over Rafale and demonetisation, as well as Rahul Gandhi's recent remarks made during his Europe trip have resulted in a heightening of the ferocity of political attacks exchanged by the BJP and Congress. While the Congress president has been tweeting exchanges with the Finance Minister, BJP party president Amit Shah has accused Rahul Gandhi of lying.
BJP spokesperson Dr Sambit Patra, who addressed a news briefing following Rahul Gandhi's demonetisation attack, fired back by spelling out what he called the "A-Z of Congress party corruption":
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