Prime Minister Narendra Modi told his cabinet last evening that his decision to pull 500 and 1,000 rupee notes has the overwhelming support of the country- as evidence, he cited the results of a survey conducted through his app.
93% of the five lakh respondents backed his move, according to the PM. It does not appear that Shatrughan Sinha was among them.
“Let’s stop living in a fools’ paradise and getting carried away by planted stories & surveys conducted by vested interests,” tweeted Mr Sinha, former actor and senior Bihar leader from the PM’s party.
Mangal Pandey, the president of the BJP, said that Mr Sinha should “consider joining the Congress if he finds everything wrong with PM’s policies.”
The opposition has alleged that the PM’s survey is designed to deliver favourable results because it does not include the voice of rural India, which does not have smartphones, and the questions are loaded to minimize or eliminate the option of disagreement.
Mr Sinha has in recent years established himself as a hobbyist in rebuking the government. Party sources say that’s because he has been sidelined by the BJP’s top leadership, including in its hierarchy in Mr Sinha’s home state of Bihar.
I strongly reiterate-the demonetisation decision of PM was the right, bold, wise & timely move.Wish the homework & teamwork had been as good
— Shatrughan Sinha (@ShatruganSinha) November 19, 2016
However, the 70-year-old’s dramatic speeches draw large crowds who recognize him from several blockbusters which included him, making it somewhat difficult for the BJP to effectively discipline or penalize him for his frequent siding with the opposition on key policies.
In this case too, Mr Sinha has common ground with opposition leaders like Mamata Banerjee and Arvind Kejriwal who say the PM’s shock move at outlawing old notes has punished not the corrupt but the common man, especially in villages, who is suddenly stranded in a definitely cash economy.
…well Intentioned savings over many years of our mothers & sisters for emergency can't be equated with black money.
— Shatrughan Sinha (@ShatruganSinha) November 23, 2016
“…well Intentioned savings over many years of our mothers & sisters for emergency can’t be equated with black money,” tweeted Mr Sinha, referring to the problems faced by home-makers who say it’s tough to run kitchens and meet household expenses in the current circumstances.
The government has repeatedly said that there is no shortage of new 500 and 2,000-rupee notes which are being dispatched every day to banks. In cities, the long lines at banks that made world news last week are thinner now