New Delhi: In a significant move, the Narendra Modi Government has invited Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, his Puducherry and Tripura counterparts V Narayanswamy and Manik Sarkar respectively, among others, to be on a panel that will suggest measures to move to a cashless economy and mitigate the effects of cash crunch on the people following the ban on 500 and 1000 rupee notes, media reports said.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu will head the committee.
The Government’s move is seen as an attempt to take the sting out of the fierce attack by opposition parties against the notes ban, particularly in the light of the possibility of issue-based realignment with opposition leaders like Nitish Kumar, who supported demonetisation.
Reports said Finance Minister Arun Jaitley called up Nitish Kumar to invite him to be a member of the panel.
Tripura CM Manik Sarkar is one of the harshest critics of the currency ban while Narayanswamy’s party Congress has been leading the opposition parties in the agitation against the way the demonetisation measure has been implemented causing hardship to the common people.
The other others reportedly contacted are Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, whose party the BJD gives issue based support to the NDA Government and has not participated in the notes ban protests of the opposition and the BJP’s Shivraj Singh Chouhan of Madhya Pradesh.
PM Modi has called for a cashless economy, saying the hardship being faced by the people will be temporary and the gains of the move will be greater. He has sought a 50-day time to let things settle down.