Nitish Kumar asks allies, partymen not to oppose demonetisation

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar asked legislators of the state's grand alliance (JD-U, RJD and Congress) government not to oppose the demonetisation move on Friday.
Nitish Kumar

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar who has been showering praise over Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his decision to demonetise high-value notes, asked legislators of the state’s grand alliance (JD-U, RJD and Congress) government not to oppose the demonetisation move on Friday. 

“The Centre’s ‘notebandi’ is not a wrong move. You can raise questions on issues pertaining to its execution. But opposing the demonetisation move as a whole will not be proper,” Nitish said at a joint meeting of the alliance legislators at the Legislative Council Annexe in Patna.

Tejashwi Prasad Yadav, Bihar deputy CM and Lalu Prasad’s son, and state Congress chief Ashok Choudhary, who have been opposing the Centre’s move were also present at the meeting. Bihar deputy CM Tejashwi Yadav had criticised the Modi government’s demonetisation decision claiming that it severely affected the day-to-day activities of the common people.

Before going to the joint meeting, Nitish had said that the grand alliance is only in Bihar and on issues related to Bihar and outside the state, every party is free to put its own viewpoint. He also dismissed “a chasm” between the three Grand Alliance partners due to different views on demonetisation being expressed by senior functionaries of the Congress and RJD.

Bihar congress president Ashok Chaudhary had said that his party is only opposing the poor execution of the demonetisation which has forced common man to stand in queues for hours to withdraw one’s hard earned money.

“If Ashok Choudhary is expressing different views on demonetisation, there is nothing wrong. Congress has its own stand on demonetization. Ashok Choudhary will talk as per his party’s viewpoint. Our alliance is limited to Bihar only,” Nitish said.

Nitish said that almost every political party is criticising poor implementation of demonetisation and not the demonetisation itself. He said even former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh didn’t criticise the spirit of demonetisation but highlighted mismanagement in carrying it out.

“Almost every party, even those openly opposed to the Centre’s move, and everybody is referring to poor arrangements at banks and ATMs. How is my stand different from others on the issue?” he asked.