Rahul Gandhi said that demonetization exercise conducted by the government two years ago was "not just an ill-conceived and poorly executed economic policy with 'innocent intent', but a carefully planned, criminal financial scam". It was a "monumental blunder", and its spin doctors including "our incompetent finance minister" now have the "unenviable task of defending an indefensible, criminal policy," Mr. Gandhi said in a statement.
Rahul Gandhi's statement was part of an attack on the government on the second anniversary of the notes ban, which came as a surprise announcement from Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the evening. The move, the Prime Minister said, was meant to flush out black money and put a stop to counterfeits that fund terrorism.
The days that saw miles-long queues at the ATMs. Many elderly people collapsed while standing in a queue and several of them died. The opposition parties had claimed the number of deaths had crossed 100 and accused the government on the floor of the Rajya Sabha of refusing to mourn the deaths.
Rahul Gandhi said, "More than a hundred and twenty Indians died in those queues. We must never forget them. Millions of small and medium businesses were smashed and the entire informal sector devastated".
Rahul Gandhi said the demonetization failed to have the desired results. "From a war against counterfeit currency and terrorism, to permanently removing the scourge of black money; from increasing savings to forcing a shift to digital transactions; not a single stated objective of the governments has been met," he said.