Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Saturday questioned the benefits of the much-hyped decision to demonetise high-value currency by the Modi government in 2016.

Special Correspondent

He also slammed banks that allegedly helped rich and powerful manage their cash post demonetisation announcement.

"I was a supporter of demonetisation... but how many people benefited from it? Some powerful people shifted their cash from one place to another," he said at a meeting with bank officials in Patna.

Questioning the conduct of banks, he asked: "You [banks] are very particular about recovering debts from small people, but what about those powerful people who take loans and disappear?"

Pressing for a need to reform the system, he said, "It is surprising that even the highest officers are unaware. [The] banking system needs reform. I am not criticising, I am concerned," he said.

The Janata Dal (United) chief has been a vocal supporter of demonetisation even when he was part of the Opposition.

This was the first time when he has questioned the benefits of demonetisation.

Meanwhile, his alliance partner Bharatiya Janata Party was quick to control the situation. Senior BJP leader and Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi, who was also present at the event where Kumar spoke, downplayed his statement, saying, "Nitish Kumar has been a supporter of demonetisation."

Earlier Tejashwi Yadav the opposition leader has said that during his stay in Bengaluru, people took a dig at Chief Minister Nitish Kumar commenting that none of the Congress and JDS legislators sold themselves to the BJP though they tried hard to purchase them by luring them of plum posts and money but failed to understand that how the Bihar CM sold himself to the saffron party last year.

Bengaluru ke logon ne kaha BJP ki boli mein hamare Karnataka ka ek bhi vidhayak nahi bikaa lekin bIhar mein to aapke Mukhyamantri hi bik gaya (BJP could not buy a single legislators of Karnataka but the in Bihar the Chief Minister sold himself to them), said Tejashwi Yadav in a tweet.

Tejashwi said that he was stunned into silence by the comments made by the people in Karnataka and he felt ashamed not as a politician but as a native of Bihar.