Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu asked the Centre on Saturday to scrap the banknotes of Rs 2,000 and Rs 500 denomination in order to speed up digital payments.
"It was I who first demanded abolition of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes. Now, they brought Rs 2,000 and Rs 500 notes but they too should be scrapped," Naidu, who heads a panel of chief ministers on digital economy, told reporters. He has made the demand in the light of a hawala racket that the Visakhapatnam police busted on Saturday.
"A staggering Rs 1,379 crore was sent out using the hawala route. I once asked the RBI -- after the demonetisation-- to send more money to AP. The RBI Deputy Governor told me money was 'coming to AP but don't know where it's going'. Now, we know where the money is going," the Chief Minister said, referring to the hawala racket.
"So many fake companies were created for these transactions. Some nondescript persons have done all this. Whois the role model for them," Chandrababu asked, indirectly taking a dig at YSR Congress president Y S Jaganmohan Reddy.
"These people are tarnishing the image of AP. Who knows how many such rackets exist (in the state) and who is the role model for them? We have to deal with them in a tough manner and protect the state's image," the Chief Minister remarked.
While attacking the YSRC president, the Naidu said that the former provided support to the NDA in the ensuing presidential election as he had no other option.
"We (TDP and BJP) are coalition partners. Why did he (Jagan) go and meet the Prime Minister (Narendra Modi)? He announced support to the NDA in the presidential election as he has no other option," Chandrababu said. The Narendra Modi-led government had introduced the Rs 2,000 and Rs 500 notes in November 2016 after announcing the demonetisation of old Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 currency notes.