Worst is yet to come, says Manmohan on notebandi

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NEW DELHI: Former PM Manmohan Singh warned on Wednesday that demonetisation’s grave consequences would come in future.”Demonetisation has hurt the country very badly. Things have gone from bad to worse in the last two months. But I venture to think the worst is yet to come,” Singh said at Congress’s ‘Jan Vedana Sammelan’.

Ahmed Patel, political secretary to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, spelt out the party’s agitation plan till the end of February.

Besides state-level ‘Jan Vedana Sammelans’ and gherao of RBI offices, Patel announced a unique programme aimed at holding Modi to his promise of being ready to be “punished at a public crossing” if demonetisation failed.

According to the plan, Congress units will choose a chouraha (crossroads) and a gathering there will ask questions to a “dummy Modi” seated on a chair. In a sarcastic tone, Ahmed Patel said the PM was behaving as if he would be in power for eternity. Former finance minister P Chidambaram said, “One person says I am the Fuhrer, I am the ruler and everyone has to agree”.

Senior members Ghulam Nabi Azad and Anand Sharma launched a scathing attack on the PM. “Demonetisation move has brought many hardships to the common man. Maybe, the PM did this to help his corporate friends,” Azad said.

Mamnohan Singh said rating agencies had downgraded the GDP projection from 7.6% to 7.1% and some had even pegged it at 6.3%. “Now, the consequences of this steep fall in the GDP can be well imagined: employment will fall in agriculture, industry and services. Production will fall particularly in the informal sector which accounts for 45% of GDP,” he said. He termed “Modi’s propaganda” about the state of affairs beginning to improve as a “hollow claim”. He said Congressmen should urge people to “arise and awake”.

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