N Chandrababu Naidu, Andhra Pradesh chief minister, on Thursday demanded a demonetisation of Rs 2000 and Rs 500 notes to root out corruption, particularly in politics.
The Telugu Desam leader was replying to a debate in the state assembly in Amaravati.
"I was the first politician in the country to demand a ban on currency of high value denominations. I am demanding again now to ban the same high value currency of Rs 2000 and Rs 500," he said.
"If you ban Rs 2000 and Rs 500 notes, no party can distribute money in elections. How much money in Rs 100 denominations can the leaders carry?" he asked.
Naidu came down heavily on allegations levelled against him by Pawan Kalyan, the Chief of Jana Sena Party. Kalyan had alleged that the TDP had reserved Rs 25 crore each for the 175 assembly constituencies in the upcoming elections.
"Let the government ban Rs 2000 and Rs 500 notes immediately. If at all I had already diverted cash to the constituencies, it would become useless if the high value currency is banned," said Naidu.
He also suggested that the push for cashless transactions should continue with more vigour.
Beside demonetisation, the Chief Minister also called for all transactions to be made digital. He felt that his state had been making progress in this direction.
Niti Aayog's 13-member committee on cashless economy constituted in November 2016 was chaired by Naidu. The Aayog served as the government's think-tank during the NDA's demonetisation drive.
As on March 14th 2018, RBI's statement on Financial currency says 'currency with the public' stood at Rs 18135.5 billion - more than even the pre-demonetisation levels. The currency with public according to this figures has risen 45% year on year.
The calls for transparency and clarity could get louder with the upcoming elections. There is also the increasing cash in circulation. But are these portents of another demonetisation?