New Delhi, Dec 8: On Thursday, a war of words erupted between the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance government and the Opposition over the issue of demonetisation.
Several opposition leaders, including Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, staged a protest at the Gandhi statue, located inside the Parliament premises, over the ban of high-value currency notes, announced on November 8.
Gandhi equated Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Paytm -- the mobile e-commerce platform.
"If I am allowed to speak in the Lok Sabha, I will tell everyone how Paytm is 'pay to Modi' (Lok Sabha mein agar mujhe bolne diya jaye toh main sab bata doonga ki Paytm kaise "pay to Modi" hota hai)," the Congress vice president told reporters.
"This (demonetisation) is not a bold decision. It is a foolish decision which has been taken without any due consideration," he added.
As the country is reeling under severe cash crunch, several e-banking and mobile banking platforms are gaining popularity among the masses as alternative methods to conduct their various transactions.
Moreover, Modi and his team are constantly promoting the idea of cashless society by asking people to switch over to online and mobile banking facilities.
Gandhi slammed Modi's demonetisation move saying people of the country are suffering and that the Centre is having a good time.
Criticising Modi's cashless economy initiative, Rahul said that idea behind cashless economy is that a few people must get maximum benefits from these transactions, this has damaged the nation.
Gandhi said that Modi started off by saying that he was against black money.
"Then the talk of black money vanished. The government panicked and the PM moved on to terrorists. Then some terrorists were caught with new currency on them. Then he moved from counterfeit money to cashless economy. The PM is running from one thing to another. We will catch him inside the House and he will not be able to run there,'' Gandhi said.
The government has slammed the opposition for staging protest to stall the normal procedure of the Parliament.
"Gandhi ji gave call for Satyagraha to see that victory of truth prevails; What are so-called namesake Gandhis doing? Observing protest," said Union minister Venkaiah Naidu.
The ongoing winter session of the Parliament has been marked by protests and adjournments on a daily basis over the issue of note ban.
While the Opposition is demanding that the Prime Minister join the debate on demonetisation, the government on its part has accused the dissenting voices as a ploy to create logjam in the Parliament.