Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati on Saturday accused the Centre of announcing the demonetisation of high-value currency notes to fulfil the “political interests” of the Bharatiya Janata Party. She also said Prime Minister Narendra Modi was emotionally blackmailing the people of the country. “To prove that his wrong decision [demonetisation] is correct, the prime minister is getting emotional and shedding tears. What is this if not blackmail?” asked Mayawati.

The BSP leader said the move to denotify Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes had caused immense trouble for the poor and compared it to an economic emergency. “How can a decision which has caused difficulties to 90% of the people be in public interest? This immature decision has caused havoc across the country,” she added. The former Uttar Pradesh chief minister alleged the move was implemented to divert attention from the fact that the BJP had failed to fulfil “even one-fourth of its poll promises in its two-and-a-half years”, and said that it would backfire.

Mayawati also criticised Modi’s remarks during his rally in Agra, where he had said that after demonetisation those who paid notes will not become MLAs. She said that unlike other parties, her party deposited the contributions made by its workers and leaders in banks. She further that the prime minister’s statements were baseless.

The BSP chief is the latest to join Delhi and West Bengal Chief Ministers Arvind Kejriwal and Mamata Banerjee in their criticism of the move. Both Banerjee and Kejriwal have been vocal in their criticism. Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress Party was the first to react, calling the step a “draconian decision”. Kejriwal, on the other hand, had alleged that Modi had informed his “friends” before announcing the decision on November 8.