Sitaram Yechury is General Secretary of Communist Party of India (Marxist).
Demonetisation is a one man made disaster which has pushed the already beleaguered and stumbling Indian economy into a tailspin, and cost livelihoods and lives. In the face of tremendous spin, hype and distraction unleashed around the facts surrounding Demonetisation, here are a few questions we expect Modi to answer, as he goes around talking a lot but saying nothing.
1. You started by boasting that demonetisation will end Black Money, terrorism and counterfeit currency, then made an about-turn and said it was about making the Economy “digital”. How did the aims change overnight?
2. Is it to hide your incompetence that you aren’t sharing data about the volume of deposits made since 8 November, or the details of new currency notes made available?
3. You have claimed that demonetisation was done to battle corruption. But what about your own name figuring in the Sahara-Birla diaries? Why has not an Inquiry been instituted to find out the truth? Last time when diaries appeared, as in Jain-Hawala case, LK Advani resigned till his name was cleared.
4. What is there to hide about this whole exercise that simple RTIs asking for minutes of RBI meeting are being denied?
5. Forget awarding compensation to more than 100 people who died standing in bank queues while trying to access their own hard-earned money, your government did not allow a Condolence resolution in Parliament which we, the Opposition proposed on November 21?
6. If you are so against corruption, why is the Inquiry on Vyapam not being allowed to reach its conclusion? Hundreds of suspicious deaths have taken place in Madhya Pradesh under your party’s government but no one has been held accountable
7. The West Bengal BJP state unit had deposited Rs 3 crores in demonetised Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes just before your announcement on TV. Land was bought in hard cash by BJP members in Bihar and Odisha among other states, in abnormal quantities, just before demonetisation . Why has an Inquiry not been ordered into these deals?
8. Before Demonetisation, which you claimed was a huge secret, how did BJP state governments of Madhya Pradesh and Haryana order surveys about its viability? Weren’t friends of the BJP and BJP tipped off about the order well in advance?
9.The government has discontinued the quarterly employment survey, more than seven years after it started the exercise to gauge the impact of a global recession on manufacturing and export-oriented industries. Where is the data on Unemployment now? You promised two crore new jobs every year; where are the five crore jobs? Instead, there have only been job losses across.
10. Your tenure as PM has been the worst period for rural India with farmer suicides reaching alarming numbers. Despite Supreme Court orders and strictures on how the drought was poorly handled by the government, why have farmer loans not been waived so far?
11. While farmers are being asked to repay loans, your government is very kind and liberal towards were well-to-do corporate defaulters. Why did you write off Rs 1.12 lakh crore of unpaid corporate loans owed to public banks in the past two years?
12. You talk a lot about electoral funding. Why was the FCRA law changed by your government by a sleight of hand, with retrospective effect, allowing you to accept political funding from foreign companies?
13. Is it not due to your government’s policies that the share of the richest 1% of the country has increased from 49% of the country’s resources in 2014 to 58.4% in 2016? Can you explain that?
14. You boasted about improved pace of road construction. But instead of claims of building 40 km road per day, your government has been able to make only 6 km per day, worst pace in many years. Is this not to your mis-governance?
15. The situation in Kashmir under your watch has been the worst in years and India has lost more than double the soldiers to terrorists this year than in the past two years. Will you take responsibility for this failure?
The whole country knows Mr Modi, that you avoid the Parliament, haven’t had an open press conference while your office shuns serious queries asked through RTI. But asking questions is essential to keeping a democratic government transparent and accountable and we will continue to do that.
(from Comrade Yechury’s facebook page)