The Shiv Sena on Tuesday said that celebrating the anniversary of demonetisation because of which many people died or lost their jobs was similar to cutting a cake on a victim’s grave.

In an editorial published in its mouthpiece Saamana, the Shiv Sena called the Centre’s 2016 note-ban move a “black chapter” in India’s history. On November 8, 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced that then Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes were illegal tender, saying that the move would help reduce black money and boost transparency. The Modi government faced tremendous flak for the move, with several Opposition leaders criticising it. The country also suffered a major cash crunch after the announcement.

The Shiv Sena noted that the Centre had claimed militant activity would stop following the 2016 move. However, the editorial said, there was no such effect. “On the contrary, the economy suffered and it has not been able to recover yet,” the editorial said. “Lakhs of people lost their job.”

The article said the economic slowdown in the country was further aggravated by the coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent lockdown to contain the spread of the infection. “The life of tea sellers turned difficult and tea businesses died,” it said. “The mention of ‘tea’ is because a tea-seller became the country’s prime minister. People had aspirations after this but were they fulfilled?”

On the Bihar polls, the Shiv Sena said the Bharatiya Janata Party raised Ram temple in Ayodhya and the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput, but it failed to click with people. The party added that the BJP supported a journalist who is accused of economic fraud and an actor who insulted Maharashtra. It was referring to the arrest of Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami and the row between the Maharashtra government and Kangana Ranaut over the actor’s comment comparing Mumbai to “Pakistan-occupied Kashmir”.

“But they [the BJP] did not say anything for the lakhs of people who lost their jobs and were helpless,” the editorial said. “This cannot be called transparency.”

The decisions such as demonetisation and the Goods and Services Tax have been proven dangerous to the welfare of the country, it said, adding that accepting mistakes was the sign of good leadership. “However, supporting mistakes has now become a political tradition,” the party said.

The Shiv Sena cautioned that outgoing United States President Donald Trump did the same and said: “It would bode well if this [fact] is remembered”.