Bengaluru, Nov 8: The Congress party in Karnataka observed Wednesday as a black day, marking the completion of one year of demonetisation in the country. There were protests held across the state capital here.
On November 8, 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes which, he said, was aimed at “eradicating black money and terror funding”.
Wearing black bands tied across their foreheads as a sign of protest, Congress leaders from the state gathered at Freedom Park, in the city centre, holding placards and shouting slogans against Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley for the note ban move.
“What good did the note ban do, except for bring the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) down,” questioned Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee President G. Parameshwara at the gathering.
“The GDP has dropped to 5.7 per cent (in the first quarter of 2017-18) from 7.9 per cent (during the same quarter) in 2016 as a result of demonetisation”.
The Congress will observe this day of “unfruitful implementation” of demonetisation as black day, he said.
Several Karnataka Youth Congress workers also joined the protests in the city, with a number of labourers and vegetable sellers taking part in it.
Some Congress leaders could also be seen pushing vegetable carts as part of their protest.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders in the city also took to the streets in a silent protest, holding placards against demonetisation.
“I was made to beg for my own money,” read one of the placards.
Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi had termed demonetisation as a “thoughtless” act by the Prime Minister.
“Demonetisation is a tragedy. We stand with millions of honest Indians, whose lives and livelihoods were destroyed by PM’s thoughtless act,” Gandhi tweeted on Wednesday.
Modi defended the decision calling demonetisation a “historic and multi-dimensional success” in eradicating corruption and black money.