The results of civic polls in Maharashtra should not be considered a referendum on the demonetisation, senior Congress leader P Chidambaram said on Friday. He also suggested that as with the sterilisation during the Emergency, people’s anger may manifest itself later.
BJP made impressive gains in the civic elections in Mumbai and elsewhere in Maharashtra.
“It only shows that the Indian people are extremely patient and stoic. But that does not mean that there is no anger. During the Emergency there was a widespread belief that sterilisation was forced on the people. There were no street protests... But that does not mean that people have accepted it,” the former Finance Minister said.
“Assuming that the story (about anger regarding sterilisation) was true and assuming that the anger of the people is justified, they expressed their resentment at an appropriate time. No election is a referendum on any one issue,” Chidambaram said at an interactive session.
“Demonetisation has affected practically every family in India... everyone is nursing a grievance,” he said.
Due to the note ban decision of Narendra Modi government, the economy will grow at 6 to 6.5 per cent in the current fiscal and the NPAs of banks will rise, he predicted.
To a question about Jammu and Kashmir, he said the situation there was grim, and a series of mistakes were made which are “almost too late” to correct now.
He also criticised recent controversial comments of the Army Chief Bipin Rawat. “General Rawat said anyone interfering with security operations will be treated as anti-national. That’s, I think, thoughtless, intemperate words,” the former Union Home Minister said.
About Mukesh Ambani’s telecom venture Reliance Jio, he said “disruption” is good, as it promotes innovation.
“Disruption is good... advent of Jio has forced the telecom industry to consolidate... that is good for the country. Imagine if the voice becomes totally free, you will never stop talking. That’s is the kind of disruption required in this country,” Chidambaram said.