Now we have Modi Antoinette: Says Sitaram Yechury

He said, "Now, we have Modi Antoinette, who says, 'If you don't have paper, use plastic'."

The Opposition came down heavily on Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday, the first day of the Winter Session of Parliament, comparing him to dictators such as Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini and Muammar Gaddafi, and even French queen Marie Antoinette, over the poor execution of the demonetisation move.

While some lawmakers questioned whether such a step would actually have any impact on curbing black money, almost everyone talked about the widespread suffering which has come with the scrapping of ₹500 and ₹1000 notes.

Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Sitaram Yechury noted that only 2.6 crore of 130 crore Indians have credit cards, and 86 per cent of cash in circulation had been demonetised. Yechury said, “Now, we have Modi Antoinette, who says, ‘If you don’t have paper, use plastic’.”

Marie Antoinette (1755-93), the Queen consort of Louis XVI, is famous for having proclaimed, “Let them eat cake,” when she heard that the peasants were starving from the dearth of bread, which eventually led to the French Revolution. However, historians believe that she never actually said that.

Meanwhile, Congress leader Anand Sharma accused the BJP government of creating “financial anarchy” in the country and asked Modi to make public the list provided by the Swiss banking authorities of black money holders.

“Everyone claims to be a surgeon today, without ever performing a surgery. Everything is a surgical strike nowadays,” he said.