New Delhi, December 1, 2016: Challenging Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to contest the Lok Sabha byelection from Amritsar, Punjab Congress president Captain Amarinder Singh said let it be a referendum on the Modi government’s dictatorial demonetisation move.
It may be recalled that Jaitley had, in 2014, lost by a huge margin to Captain Amarinder from the Amritsar Lok Sabha constituency.
Reacting strongly to the gold restrictions imposed by the Modi government on Thursday, Captain Amarinder said these kind of things happened in the Nazi Germany of Adolf Hitler. “So is the Modi government trying to replicate the Nazi ideology in India?” he asked.
Pointing out that gold was a symbol of marital happiness and had a lot of significance for Indian women, he questioned the intentions of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Jaitley.
Expressing serious concern over the latest spate of hacking incidents, Captain Amarinder Singh warned Modi against exposing the common people to fraudsters through his ill-conceived demonetisation scheme, saying it would backfire on the government, beginning with the forthcoming Assembly elections.
There is a lot of resentment among the common people over the unplanned execution of the demonetisation move, said Captain Amarinder, adding that the hacking episodes relating to Congress websites had exposed the vulnerability of the digital system which Modi was asking them to adopt. And the resentment of the people will manifest itself in the Assembly polls in Punjab and some other states a couple of months from now, he warned.
Before deciding to shift the whole country from cash transactions to digital transactions, Modi should have taken into consideration the ground realities and made cyber transactions foolproof, said Captain Amarinder, while interacting with a few mediapersons here.
The Punjab Congress president added that the ease with which cyber accounts were being breached by hackers showed how fragile the cyber network in India is and how unprepared the country is for moving to digitization at the scale envisaged by the prime minister.
In fact, Captain Amarinder pointed out citing an RTI revelation in May 2015, there had been a 100% increase in bank fraud (as per RBI data) in a year after Modi government taking charge. He also cited the recent mega financial hacking fraud, in which 3.2 million debit cards of major banks were compromised as a result of online security breach,
Yet, said Captain Amarinder, Modi seemed to be blind to the risks involved in online banking. “Do you have such a myopic vision that you can’t see how just one senseless move from you has thrown the entire country into a state of financial anarchy and how unprepared your government was to cope with the ramificatons?” he asked.
Despite several hacking and banking fraud incidents coming to the fore, the Modi government has failed to secure the system, which it should have done before even contemplating the drastic demonetisation move, said Captain Amarinder.
To a question on ticket allocation in the Congress for the forthcoming Punjab Assembly elections, Captain Amarinder said all seats would be finalized on December 3, when the Congress Electoral Committee meets here under AICC president Sonia Gandhi.
Asked about Navjot Singh Siddhu, he said he was hopeful of meeting him soon and said Sidhu would play an important role in the Punjab Congress polls campaign.
On the SYL issue, Captain Amarinder questioned Chief Minister Parkash Singh questioned Badal’s intentions, asking why he had not done anything to protect Punjab’s water over the past 10 years.
In fact, the Badals had done ardas at Golden Temple before Operation Blue Star saying that the tanks would have to go over their dead bodies before being allowed to enter the temple, but had run away when the time for test came. Accusing the Badals of being cowards, Captain Amarinder said they could not be trusted on SYl or any other issue.