Nearly two days after the central government decided to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes, Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said the decision may have an impact on elections.
Experts have already indicated that the scrapping of high value currency will make an impact on the political spendings since there are assembly elections due in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Manipur, Goa and Uttarakhand.
While addressing media on Thursday, Parrikar said, “Rs 500 and 1000 notes may have an impact on elections, lot of politicians are already worrying,” ANI reported.
PM Modi has also indicted this ‘impact’ during his televised address earlier, saying “We talk about use of black money in elections. We have to set the country free from corruption and black money.”
According to media reports, many in the country believe the decision to demonetize the high value currency was aimed at the upcoming assembly elections in the country. However, BJP has denied such claims.
A few politicians privately complained the government move was timed to choke funds ahead of the crucial state assembly polls to Uttar Pradesh and Punjab Assembly elections. The BJP has rubbished such claims as absurd.
Former Chief Election Commissioner S.Y. Quraishi was Economic Times as saying: “It will definitely have some impact on free flow of money in elections but I don’t think it will curb the whole menace. We all know that in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab elections, money plays a big role. There will be some control after the decision.”
Among the poll bound states, UP and Punjab generally witness huge cash spending during elections. According to a Centre for Media Studies report, nearly Rs 30,000 crore was spent during the 2014 general election in India, while more than half of the money were unaccounted.