New Delhi: Dubbing the demonetisation of high currency notes as a "huge scam", Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today alleged BJP had told all its "friends" about the move much before Prime Minister Narendra Modi's announcement and demanded its immediate roll back.
He termed the Centre's decision to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes as "surgical strike" on common man's "small savings" and not on "black marketeers".
To substantiate his claim, Kejriwal alleged that Sanjeev Kamboj, who heads BJP's Punjab legal cell, was seen with new notes of Rs 2,000 on social media days before the Prime Minister announced withdrawing high value currency.
"From July to September, there had been a sudden jump in deposits of money in banks which clearly indicates that BJP had told all its friends much before the announcement of demonetisation by the PM. It is a huge scam," he said in a press conference. He claimed that black money would not come in the system by demonetisation.
The Chief Minister also showed a news channel's report which claimed high jump in deposits in banks during July-September quarter, adding that before that period, deposits in banks were "very low".
"In the name of black money, a huge scam is operating in the country. People are suffering as there is no cash in ATMs. Since early morning, they have to stand in long queues outside banks and ATMs. Through demonetisation, black money will not come in the system," he said.
Kejriwal also posed three questions to the Prime Minister and BJP president Amit Shah on withdrawing higher currency notes.
"What according to the Prime Minister is the definition of black money? Have India's top industrialists - Ambani, Adani, Sharad Pawar, Subhash Chandra and Badal amassed black money or the common man like farmers, rickshaw-pullers, shopkeepers and labourers did.
"BJP should disclose a list of all its friends whom it had told about the demonetisation much before the Prime Minister's announcement and that settled their black money," he said.
Kejriwal said BJP should also come out with a list of touts who are taking commission from common people in exchanging their invalid notes with new ones, cashing in the situation and where is the money collected by them going?
Kejriwal said, "In the coming days, demonetisation move is going to be like a huge blow to the Indian economy and will only lead to joblessness. There is nervousness among people. If people lose their faith in system, it will then not be right."
Crores of rupees had been deposited in banks during July-September quarter at a massive level. However, some people would attribute that the huge cash deposit were done because of recently-concluded Income Tax Declaration Scheme (ITDS), he said.
"Under ITDS, money had to be deposited in the treasury of the central government. But when we talk about demonetisation, cash has been deposited by certain people at massive level in their bank accounts as they were told by the BJP much before the announcement on withdrawing high currency notes. "Demonetisation will only lead to re-distribution of black money," Kejriwal said.
There is no cash in ATMs due to which people are suffering, he claimed. "Current ATMs are not designed for new notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000. How will Centre change ATMs now at big scale? Were not they aware about it? They knew it very well and they deliberately created crisis today," Kejriwal further claimed.
He said, "For instance, if you deposit Rs 10 crore black money in your bank, government is saying that it will impose 30 per cent tax besides 200 per cent penalty (60 per cent) which means you will have to give Rs nine crore to government and your balance will be Rs one crore. I don't think that people will do that.
"People, who have black money, are now buying a dollar for Rs 120. If you buy gold as per existing rate, it will be available at Rs 30,000 per tola (10 gm), but people who have black money are buying gold at 60,000 per tola in cash. These people are also buying property.
"Property dealers who have notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 in huge numbers. They are exchanging with new ones through touts. In markets, touts are ready to exchange their money with new ones. Huge scam is operating in the country," he said.
He said, "the Centre is threating that if one deposits above Rs 2.5 lakh, it will impose a penalty of 200 per cent. what does it mean? People should not deposit money in banks?"
"Who is standing in long queues outside banks and ATMs? They are housewives, small traders, farmers and labourers. They are not evading tax.
"Yesterday, BJP president Amit Shah had said that government will not spare those who deposit above Rs 2.5 lakh, but he did not say anything on deposit on Rs 2,500 crore," he further said.