Thiruvananthapuram, Nov 8 (PTI): AICC General Secretary, Oommen Chandy, Thursday questioned the BJP’s “shrill silence”on the impact of demonetisation and sought an apology from Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the pain caused to the common man.

The BJP government ‘celebrated’ the first anniversary of demonetisation as “Anti-Black Money Day” without explaining how it helped the country, he said.

However, on the second anniversary Thursday, the saffron party was maintaining a “very shrill silence”, Chandy, a former Kerala chief minister, said in a Facebook post titled “Demonetizationan economic disaster!”

There is no talk about the “Anti-Black Money Day” or the lives and livelihoods lost in the immediate aftermath of the demonetisation, he said.

The Prime Minister neither made himself available to be questioned, nor did he apologise for inflicting so much pain on the common people and severely crippling our economy, especially the small and medium enterprises, the Congress leader added.

The Prime Minister must face questions from by the people and explain why the step was taken, Chandy said.

“He must show courage and face questions from the opposition parties who represent the people and also from the media, which is the fourth pillar of democracy. He must explain why such a drastic policy was implemented.

“And if he cant answer convincingly, he must issue an apology for his mistake, though the lost lives can never be brought back”, the former Kerala chief minister said.

When the Prime Minister announced demonitisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes on November 8, 2016, it was indeed a “black day” for the Indian economy and not a fight against black money as was claimed, chandy said.

Though the demonetisation of 2016 has precedents, including under the British government, none had been as “destructive” as the one executed by the BJP administration, he said adding the caution by opposition parties, including the Congress, which had said it would cripple the economy was brushed aside.

The BJP-led government had defended the move, saying it was necessary to wipe out illegal money stashes.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.