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Demonetisation causing unimaginable suffering to people: Deve Gowda

Gowda, known for implementing Voluntary Disclosure Scheme (VDS) to unearth black money during his tenure, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi should have spoken in Parliament on currency ban "so that we could reply"

Former Prime Minister and Janata Dal (Secular) leader H D Deve Gowda on Thursday said the present government’s demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes was carried out in a “haphazard” manner causing “unimaginable suffering” to the people.

Gowda, known for implementing Voluntary Disclosure Scheme (VDS) to unearth black money during his tenure, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi should have spoken in Parliament on currency ban “so that we could reply”.

“The best thing would have been that the Prime Minister should have made a statement in the House on the very first day of the ongoing Winter session” regarding the decision which he had already announced on November 8 when Parliament was not in session, Gowda told PTI. 

“We are not against efforts to curb black money. But in my opinion, the Prime Minister announced demonetisation without any preparation. It was done in a haphazard manner,” said the JD(S) leader who is also a Lok Sabha MP who has been waiting to speak on the issue but could not due to the disruptions.

Gowda said it has been 22 days since the announcement was made by Modi on November 8 in a televised address, people particularly the farmers and labourers had to go through “unimaginable suffering”.

When asked about the Prime Minister’s request for 50 days for solving the hardships, JD(S) chief said, “How long does this government want the people to suffer?”.

The Karnataka leader added that banks in his state did not have enough money and they close down as early as noon, leaving people suffering.

“It was a hasty decision by the Prime Minister without proper assessment which has put the country in an awkward situation,” Gowda stressed.

The 83-year-old leader who was Prime Minister from June 1996 to April 1997 recalled the VDS scheme implemented under his tenure and said through which they had unearthed Rs 10,000 crore of undisclosed money.

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