MUMBAI: Echoing a section of the opposition, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Thursday questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitions plan to scrap old 500 and 1,000 rupee notes to curb untaxed wealth, saying it was inconveniencing people.
“If you have guts, conduct a ‘surgical strike’ on Swiss banks where Indian money is stashed. Bring back this black money,” he said, adding the move amounted to “torture” of the public and that he was “upset” with PM Modi’s style of working.
“People have put immense faith in you (PM Modi). Do not betray their trust or you will see the impact of peoples’ ‘surgical strike’ against you,” Mr Thackeray said.
His comments came on a day when citizens complained of difficulties in getting cash from banks and ATMs.
“If your move is against corruption, we are with you, but not at the cost of troubling the common man. Your sudden decision at a time when new notes are not available adequately, is proving to be a torture for people,” Mr Thackeray said.
Mr Thackeray demanded that the centre extend the period for which old notes were being accepted by various government agencies, and that collection of road tax be completely suspended until there was an adequate supply of new notes.
The centre yesterday allowed Rs. 1,000 and Rs. 500 notes for payment of electricity bills, water bills, property tax or any kind of government dues in Maharashtra on request of the state government. Today, the centre extended the use of old notes for paying household utility bills, fuel, taxes and fees by another 72 hours to November 14.
As per the centre’s order, banks started exchanging scrapped Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 notes for lower denomination currencies since yesterday.
Though the ATMs reopened today after being closed for two days, many cash-strapped people were left disappointed as most of these machines ran out and in many areas they did not open at all.