A war of words has ensued between the Opposition and the Centre over alleged deaths over demonetisation.
Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, has blamed the Modi government of burdening the public with “wrong policy” and said that the deaths due to demonetisation are higher those who died in the Uri terror attack.
To this, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Venkaiah Naidu immediately hit back at Azad saying he was insulting the nation by making such comments and must apologise.
Ghulam Nabi Azad stated that “our enemies haven’t killed so many people which were killed by our wrong policies.”
“This is a highly objectionable statement and an insult to the nation. By this statement, Congress has shielded Pakistan and has given Pakistan a chance to use this (statement) in their campaign,” said Naidu.
Naidu said to compare demonetisation and Pakistan-backed terrorism is highly unfortunate, adding that he was saddened and hurt by his statement.
He said Azad is an experienced leader and the Leader of Opposition and he still standing with his statement. Naidu condemned it and called it unfortunate.
Later talking to media, Azad stated: “40 people have died. Our enemies haven’t killed so many people which were killed by our wrong policies.”
He also took a dig at former Karnataka Chief Minister Yeddyurappa for attending Gali Janardhan Reddy daughter’s multi-crore wedding and PM Modi for his surprise Pakistan visit in 2015. “You (BJP) attend marriages and functions in Pakistan and lay out red carpets for them, and you are saying this to us?,” Azad said.
Azad’s statements were expunged by the Chair later.
As per media reports, so far 55 people have died as they struggle to get cash. Most deaths are of the elderly waiting in long bank queues, and there are quite a few suicides, especially of housewives.