In a brave economic move, which risks political backlash, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that existing currency notes of Rs.500 and Rs.1, 000 denomination would no longer be legal tender. The decision could upset the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s key support base—traders, small and middle-level businessmen. Even as senior leaders of the BJP described the announcement as a game changer which would help the government in its fight against corruption and black money, they admitted to fears that it could affect the party’s voter base.
The big worry is that the impact of this move in the long run cannot be fathomed. With assembly elections due in five states over the next six months (Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur all go to polls), the move is risky, and brave. Elections attract cash, and the move means “campaigning is going to be a big headache for political parties”.“The whole political economy of elections runs on black money where parties pump in crores of rupees, often from dubious sources. There could be backlash from politicians and the propertied class.
It was also said that the poor and the middleman shall not suffer but it was observed that the queues in front of banks and ATMs grew longer and longer, marriages were postponed or cancelled. . People died in hospitals as the old notes they had were not being accepted, some died while waiting in queues and some committed suicide. One bank employee died due to heart attack after working non-stop for three days.
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