Senior Congress leader P. Chidambaram on Sunday said that if demonetization move was implemented during his time as Finance Minister he would have resigned.
“Had I been the Finance Minister, and the Prime Minister had proposed the step of demonetization, I’d have told him not to do it. If he had still gone ahead with it, I would have resigned,” Chidambaram said, adding he was sure that the “aftermath of the huge step” was not described to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
He also said that the fallout of huge step was not described to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. During discussion on – Debating Modi Sarkar: The Role of the Opposition – at the Times LitFest 2016, he further added that “Had he known ATMs were not recalibrated, and that it would take seven months to print the currency, he wouldn’t have gone ahead with the move.”
Chidambaram raised the “sufferings” of the people, who’ve been hit hard by the unprecedented cash crunch. “If you take away the daily income of labourers, farmers, fruit sellers, vendors, small scale businessmen etc, the livelihood of 48 per cent of the population (45 crores approx) is affected,” he said .
“People are suffering. Some decisions maybe politically and economically correct, but if they are not good ethically, the government should apologise to its people,” he added.
Chidambaram said that secrecy was important but experts should have been consulted before introducing the move. “Secrecy was necessary. But advices from at least two people should have been considered. The government should have consulted former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and its own former Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha.”
Commenting on the collective call by the opposition parties for a nationwide Bharat Bandh on November 28, Chidambaram said: “It is already a Bharat Bandh. We’ve been observing the Bandh for past 20 days.”
“How can there be more disruption than what has been happening in this nation for more than a week? I don’t support bandhs,” he said.