BSP chief Mayawati went after prime minister Narendra Modi all guns blazing when she accused him and his government of imposing an undeclared "economic emergency" while speaking to reporters. Mayawati said that the PM's decision was not meant for public good but for deriving "sadistic pleasure" from the plight of others.
"The Congress imposed political emergency. This government has imposed undeclared economic emergency. Nearly 90 per cent people are suffering because of the decision," she said.
She said Tuesday's announcement came as a shock for people, who "came out of their houses as if an earthquake had struck. People who wanted petrol had to spend Rs 1,000 because petrol pump owners declined to give change. Family members of sick people were turned away from medical stores. Small traders suffered loss. These people will teach the BJP and Company a lesson in the coming election."
The PM claims to be a tea vendor but "does not understand what it is to be a poor and to live in shanties", she went on.
Mayawati also accused the ruling BJP of having stashed money abroad - "enough for contesting elections in the coming 60-70 or even 100 years" - before the demonetisation was announced.
She said that people expect strong steps against corruption and black money but the government's initiative seemed to be aimed at diverting people's attention.
Mayawati also questioned the timing of the decision and claimed the move was triggered by the coming Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh.
"Just before UP elections, Modi has realised the problem of black money after remaining in the saddle at the Centre for two-and-a-half years. Ninety per cent people are unhappy with this decision," she added.