On Wednesday, a video released online that shows Bhawani Singh Rajawat, BJP legislator from Ladpura in Rajasthan’s Kota district, criticized the Modi government decision to scrap RS.500 and Rs.1000 notes and claimed that industrialists Gautam Adani and Ambanis had prior knowledge of the demonetization of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000.
In his opinion, “It could have been a step by step move. The government could have given people some time to get things in order. The Adanis and Ambanis already knew about it and sorted their money in advance.”
The video was originally posted by a self-proclaimed Congress supporter. However, when the video was broadcast on a news channel, the Ladpura (Kota) MLA denied he had given any such statement. Rajawat told The Indian Express later in the evening that it was an “off-record” bit of conversation with “some journalists” and alleged that they are presenting “distorted comments”. He claimed, “I did not say any of those things being shown in the video.”
In the video, about the quality of the new currency, which have attracted criticism from some quarters, he said the 2000 note appears fake on touching it. He said, “The new currency note is third class. It feels counterfeit.”
Critical of the sudden announcement by PM Narendra Modi and implementation that has seen long queues outside banks and ATM kiosks, the BJP MLA purportedly said, “First you should have printed the new currency as per requirement. But like announcements of change in petrol prices, you announced that Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 are invalid from midnight.”
Rajawat’s controversial jibe came at a time when opposition parties were accusing Modi government of giving prior information of demonetization to industrialists and black-money hoarders.
He has refused giving any such statement to media. He said to HT, “I was just chatting informally with some journalists but did not give any statement against demonetization.” He told TIE, “Some journalists… came to my Kota home today for a bite on demonetization, as I had visited villages in my constituency on Tuesday. But unethically they recorded an off-record conversation.”
HE, however, said demonetization was affecting farmers due to currency crunch but the move would certainly fetch black money.
Bhawani Singh Rajawat is not a new name in controversy.
He was earlier accused of threatening people to give votes to the BJP in the Kota Municipal Corporation election in 2014. Previously, he demanded criminal background check for Bihari students in Kota. A few months ago, he talked about gunning down the crocodiles that he said had been troubling the people of his constituency. Once, he advised bikers not to wear a helmet, arguing that it was uncomfortable and caused baldness.