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Exclusive: Note Ban Caused Long-Term Damage, Says P Chidambaram

Chidambaram said that the people might forgive the Prime Minister, but they will not forget what they went through.

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In an exclusive chat with The Quint, Congress leader and former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram attacked the demonetisation move, saying it has caused “long-term damage” to the country.

The Congress MP also pointed out that the narrative around the note ban has constantly been changing.

The narrative changes – initially they said it is for black money, counterfeiting and to stop terror funding. Then they added corruption. After two-three weeks, they realised it won’t make any difference to corruption or black money. In fact, it made many bankers corrupt.

Following this, the ban was touted as part of a transition towards a cashless society, Chidambaram stated. However, it was soon realised that such a society does not exist anywhere else in the world.

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Thus, the former minister said, the narrative has now switched to saying that demonetisation was introduced to empower the poor, following a situation where 40 million people were driven to misery in a period of five to six weeks.

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P Chidambaram spoke about how the Indian economy has deteriorated and has been mismanaged over the last one year.

When asked if the upcoming Assembly elections are a referendum on demonetisation, Chidambaram denied it, but added that it will definitely be a “major factor at play”. He also stated:

It’s a long-term damage to the country… People might forgive the Prime Minister, but they are not going to forget the experience.

Video Editor: Purnendu Pritam

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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