New Delhi, November 27: Senior Congress leader and Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram launched a scathing attack on Narendra Modi’s demonetisation policy saying that he would have preferred to resign instead of implementing the demonetisation policy. The comment made by P Chidambaram had come while talking at the Times LitFest 2016 in New Delhi, where he was on a panel discussing ‘Debating Modi Sarkar: The Role of the Opposition’. Also Read - PM Modi Biggest 'Dangaabaaz' of India, Worse Fate Than Trump Awaits Him, Says Mamata Banerjee
P Chidambaram who served UPA government twice as a Finance Minister during UPA-I and UPA-II said that if the Prime Minister would have asked him to declare Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes as illegal tender, he would have advised him not to do so. “Don’t take the decision,” said Chidambaram. Also Read - Motera— World's Biggest Cricket Ground—Renamed as Narendra Modi Stadium
“I would have given him facts and figures. But, had he still said ‘Sorry, this is my decision and I will do it’, let me tell you quite candidly, I would have resigned,” said Chidambaram. The Former Finance Minister was replying to a question at the Delhi Literature Festival posed by an audience on what would he have done had he been in Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s place. Also Read - Bengal Has Made Up Its Mind For 'Poriborton', Says PM Modi at Hooghly Rally | Top Quotes
Chidambaram also took a dig on demonetisation and said, “This is not noted bandhi (shut down), this is note badli (change).” Also Read – RBI Governor Urjit Patel breaks his silence on Demonetisation, says RBI is monitoring the situation daily
While attacking the government over demonetisation move, Chidambaram said that the process will not meet the objectives of curbing corruption, black marketeering and counterfeit currencies as spelt out by Narendra Modi. He further added that the move will create a “short-term benefits” as it would shift people towards cashless transaction in urban areas.
Chidambaram further claimed that Narendra Modi was not given sufficient information on the ramifications of demonetisation and also added that even Prime Ministers Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian was not aware of the move.
Chidambaram said when he held the office of the Finance Minister, it came to his knowledge that one of his predecessors had constituted a committee on demonetisation, but did not name the predecessor or specify the period, news agency PTI reported.
Chidambaram has presented nine Union budgets. “The report of the CBDT was against demonetisation. No one considered demonetisation,” he said, adding that similar steps were taken in 1946 and again, in 1978 during Morarji Desai’s regime.
Chidambaram said while the demonetisation decision was taken in utmost secrecy, it would be wrong to assume that no one in the opposition could have been taken into confidence.
“If you can’t consult the opposition, the government should have consulted its own Former Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha. It should have asked former prime minister Manmohan Singh. A decision of this magnitude ought to be taken at least (in consultation) with Sinha and Singh,” he said. The Congress leader said although the Prime Minister has asked for 50 days for the situation to ease out, “putting the poor under this for 50 days is torture”.
(With inputs from PTI)