Will masses still back you, Shiv Sena asks Modi

Mumbai: Terming the demonetization as “a betrayal” of the people, the Shiv Sena on Monday asked whether the people would still support Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Comparing the government’s secret mission of November 8 to an “economic civil war”, the Sena – a member of the ruling National Democratic Alliance at the centre and in Maharashtra – said Modi had already dropped one bomb by the demonetization.

Questioning Modi’s claims that the people of the country have “blessed” him for the demonetisaton step, the Sena said it was “sheer betrayal of the masses who blessed and voted him to power in 2014”.

“In order to extract the black money from a handful of industrialists, the Modi government has thrown 125 crore people on the streets. They are crowding outside banks, ATMs to get back their own money, waiting in long queues without food, water and some have even died in the process.”

The Sena added: “At one stroke, the government has sacrificed 125 crores at the altar of black money – are all these people corrupt and black money hoarders? How many were found standing in the queues with bundles of unaccounted Rs.500-1,000 notes?”

The Sena said it fully supported the drive against black money but the manner in which the government has implemented it had resulted in economic anarchy.

“The government claims now the black money will come out – but how? The country’s black money is in the hands of a few and is safely stashed in foreign banks. What about the black money that was rotated and digested during the 2014 elections?” the Sena asked.

Ruing that the Prime Minister is constantly on foreign trips at public expense, it said he had not realized the agony of the masses who queue up to exchange their old notes with new.

“The roads are empty, petrol pumps are drying up, markets are deserted, labourers are jobless. But he’s saluting the helpless, defeated people. This is an insult to the citizens and their patriotism,” the Sena said.

People were in queues for days, fighting amongst themselves or dying, all for getting their own Rs 2,000. “This is terrible, alarming and tantamounts to an ‘economic civil-war’.”

“We are with you in the war against this cancer of black money. But the manner in which the hungry and thristy masses are thrown on the streets for Rs 500 and Rs 1,000, will they still support you?” the editorial asked.