Guj polls will see black money, says Chidambaram

Guj polls will see black money, says Chidambaram

Guj polls will see black money, says Chidambaram

Seeking to debunk the Modi government's claims that demonetisation helped fight corruption, former finance minister and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Wednesday said the "eliminated black money" will be traced to the election campaign in Gujarat.

"Black money eliminated says govt. Let the Gujarat election campaign start and you will find the 'eliminated' black money," Chidambaram said in a series of tweets, as the Congress marked the first anniversary of demonetisation as Black Day.

A day after Finance Minister Arun Jaitley described demonetisation as an "ethical and moral" decision, Chidambaram dared the government to read "real-life stories of job loss, closure of businesses and heaping misery on 15 crore daily wage earners".

"Can anyone deny lives were lost, small businesses closed and jobs were lost?" the Congress leader asked.

Chidambaram said the cash with the public was Rs 15 lakh crore and increasing and would soon reach the November 2016 level of Rs 17 lakh crore. He also sought  to dismiss the government's claims that India was a "less cash"  economy post-demonetisation.

He said  a decision on the quantum of cash in circulation rested with the RBI and not the government, as he sought to reiterate the Congress'  view that the prime minister had undermined the autonomy of the central bank by forcing them to recommend demonetisation.

"In the interest of transparency, the government/RBI should release RBI Board's agenda, background note and (former governor) Dr Raghuram Rajan's note. If the government is confident of its decision, why does it fear releasing these documents?" he asked.