New Delhi, Jan 11
For the first time in history, an Indian Prime Minister is being ridiculed across the world for his "incompetent" decision of demonetisation, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi said on Wednesday.
Addressing a party convention here, Gandhi also charged Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) with weakening the country's constitutional institutions.
Dubbing demonetisation as Modi's "personal decision", Gandhi said "world's biggest financial experiment" was undertaken on the whims of the Prime Minister and RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat.
"For the first time in history, the Prime Minister of India is being ridiculed world over.
"Never before has every single economist of any repute said that the Prime Minister has taken an incompetent and badly thought out decision," said Gandhi about the November 8 decision to demonetise Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes.
Gandhi also asserted that the "acche din" (good days) promised by Modi during the 2014 Lok Sabha polls will actually come with the return of the Congress to power.
"Every single institution that we constructed, be it the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), judiciary or the Election Commission, the BJP, RSS and Modi have weakened them. Today, there is no institution in this country that is respected," he said.
"We did not do this over the last 70 years," he said pointing to Modi and the BJP.
"The RBI, an institution that is the financial bedrock of the country, has been ridiculed, position of the RBI Governor has been ridiculed.
"The reason is that the RSS and the BJP are under the impression that nobody's opinion matters in the country except their own," said Gandhi claiming that demonetisation was not a decision of the apex bank.
Further ridiculing Modi, he went on to add: "Having failed to hide behind 'Make in India', 'Skill India' and 'Swachh Bharat Mission' campaigns, Modi tried hiding behind his home-made economists like Baba Ramdev...and broke the country's financial spine."
"After discussing with just two-three people, he undertook the world's biggest financial experiment. And if you question him, he says who are you, the country will be run only by Modi and Mohan Bhagwat," said Gandhi.
"The Prime Minister jumps from clean India, to surgical strikes, to demonetisation. He keeps jumping from one thing to another and people wonder when good days will come."
"I'll tell them that it will come when Congress comes to power again," he said.
Gandhi also asserted his party's commitment to protecting the country's constitutional institutions.
"We want to tell the country that India's soul is its institutions and we would protect them. We are opposed to Modi and Bhagwat's mindset that only two-three people can run the country. We will defeat this mindset," affirmed Gandhi.
He also asked Modi to go to the poor and the farmers to know about the effects of his decision and to "feel their pain".
He also said that the media was under "certain constraints".
"We understand their nervousness and predicament. But, there is a responsibility that you have in highlighting the pain the people are feeling. You must not shy away from that responsibility," he added.