"The Prime Minister has the ‘ilhaam’ (revelation) one night that demonetisation should be done and he does it. In any case it was a bold step. I have to remind you suicide too is a bold step,” Shourie said in an interview to a TV interview when asked why in his view, the government went in for demonetisation.

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Which argument (offered by the government in defence of demonetisation) today survives? Black money? All of it turned white. Terrorism? Terrorists are still coming into India. At the end they have nothing to say,” he added.

Shourie also took a dig at BJP President Amit Shah who has said that current slowdown is “due to technical reasons”, terming him “that famous economist?” and underscoring that official figures cannot be brushed under the carpet.

“This is a government of two-and-a-half persons, that is, Narendra Modi, Amit Shah and one in-house lawyer. They don’t have the expertise and they have surrounded themselves by persons who don’t have the expertise.

“They are now in a sealed echo-chamber. They don’t hear what is happening. The distress the RBI has documented of small and medium enterprise. These poor fellows had been clamouring and shouting. Nobody heard them,” he added.

He said that persons like Yashwant Sinha, P Chidambaram and several other economists have been “talking about facts”.

“And those facts emerge from official reports such as The Economic Survey, the RBI surveys, the SBI’s report etc. Is it a fact or not that GDP has collapsed to 3.7 per cent according to the old series? Is it a fact or not that index of industrial production has gone down from about 9 per cent in 2015-16 to about 1.7 per cent in April to July? Is it not a matter of concern?” Shourie said.

“Their core competence is event management. They are so self-satisfied with it. They are just briefing each other, not listening to others... They are concerned about 300-feet statute, bullet trains etc,” he said.

On BJP and government functionaries calling former Union minister Yashwant Sinha a “frustrated” person after he lashed out at the government, Shourie said it was “their standard operating procedure”.

“Whenever they are confronted with inconvenient facts, they try to bury it in avalanche of abuse. I have aconstructive suggestion for them. They should publish a list of persons in advance who they think are frustrated,” he said.