Bengal parties intensify demonetisation protest during RBI Governor’s visit
Kolkata, Dec 15 (IANS) From showing black flags to RBI Governor Urjit Patel, to holding noisy demonstrations outside its office in the city, West Bengal’s major non-BJP political parties intensified their protest against demonetisation targeting the apex bank, whose board met in the city on Thursday.
Activists of the Congress threw security personnel into a tizzy, as they staged a noisy black flag demonstration at the NSCBI Airport when Patel was on his way back to Mumbai.
At least 20 Congress workers surrounded his car shouting “Urjit Patel hai hai” and waved black flags.
As Patel got out of the car, the demonstrators went near the official and tried to heckle him, blaming the RBI Governor for the “crisis in the country”.
The Central Industrial Security Force and West Bengal Police personnel somehow managed to escort Patel to safety inside the airport.
The Trinamool Congress ministers and state legislators held a sit-in for the second consecutive day in front of the RBI regional office, protesting against insufficient supply of new currency notes in the state, while Patel was attending the apex bank’s board meeting inside the building.
Several Trinamool supporters along with the party heavyweights shouted slogans and waved black flags at the gate of the Reserve Bank, demanding a roll back of the central government’s demonetisation of high-value currency notes.
“It’s strange what the (RBI) Governor should decide, is being decided by the Prime Minister. Total seven countries tried the demonetisation drive in history and all have failed miserably. What made them think it would be successful in a vast country like India,” said state Irrigation Minister Rajib Banerjee.
“The RBI Governor owes an explanation to the masses for snatching away their democratic rights. We demand an immediate roll-back of this decision,” said Trinamool spokesperson Nirmal Ghosh.
Accusing Patel of toeing the central government’s political line, the CPI-M led Left Front also held a sit in protest in the morning near RBI’s regional office.
“It seems the RBI governor has been instructed to work according to the views of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the central government. This should not be the state of affairs of an institution like Reserve Bank of India,” said Left Front chairman Biman Bose.