Former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Saturday said demonetisation alone is unlikely to impact the outcome of forthcoming elections in five states, including Uttar Pradesh and Punjab.
“It is difficult to say about election results whether demonetisation will have any impact. Elections are fought on multiple issues and each state has different issues,” he said.
Delivering a lecture on launch of ‘Anjan Dutta Foundation’, the senior Congress leader said there is no straight fight in any of the states against any party supporting the demonetisation drive.
“In Punjab, the main issue is drug menace, which is not an issue in Goa or Uttarakhand. In Manipur, the Meitei issue is prime. Likewise, the issues in Goa and Uttarakhand are different,” he added.
Talking about the high-pitched battle in Uttar Pradesh, Chidambaram said the main contest in the state will be a triangular one.
“So, only one issue never decides the outcome of any election. It is always various issues,” he said.
On peoples’ support to demonetisation, Chidambaram said it is there at present with a hope that the exercise will end black money and corruption from the society.
“In 3-4 months, when people will see that it is not happening, they will not support it anymore,” he said, adding Indian people are very tolerant and they should get an award for being the “most tolerant people of the world”.
Terming the decision of demonetisation as “nonsensical, ill-conceived and horribly managed”, the former Union minister said it will take at least two years to get back the rhythm of Indian economy.
“We are paying the price for allowing the power to be concentrated in one hand. Entire economy has crippled, shrunk. It will grow at a much lower pace,” he added.
Chidambaram said unless the roots of black money, corruption and terrorism are addressed, these problems cannot be solved at all.
“This is a complete hoax to say demonetisation will end black money, corruption and terrorism. I challenge the Prime Minister to declare that nobody will ask for bribe in future,” he added.