MPs moan over stingy SBI, dry ATMs in Parliament

New Delhi, Dec 8 (IANS) The demonetisation misery hit hard some MPs on Thursday when the State Bank of India (SBI) branch in Parliament politely refused to give them Rs 24,000 each.

Three MPs — two from the Rajya Sabha and one from the Lok Sabha — went to the bank to withdraw Rs 24,000 each — the maximum allowed to be taken out every week from banks following demonetisation.

Two of them were from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and one from the Janata Dal-United.

Facing a cash crunch, the bank officials requested the three MPs to take out Rs 5,000 each but they refused.

“This is the situation in the temple of democracy. Imagine what must be the situation in remote corners of the country?” one of the three MPs told IANS on the condition of anonymity.

One of the two Rajya Sabha MPs, from Bihar, said he thought of withdrawing money as Friday is the last of the week’s session, followed by four days of holiday.

“I wanted cash before going back to my constituency. But you can see the situation,” he said.

Another MP, from the BJP and Uttar Pradesh, wondered how he could talk about the supposed benefits of the note ban to people in his constituency when he himself was suffering.

There are four ATMs in Parliament premises: one near the Central Hall, another in the library building and two in the Parliament Annexe building. All four were dry on Thursday.

Some MPs and Parliament staffers waited at the ATMs hoping for cash to arrive.

On most days since the ban of 500 and 1,000 rupees notes was announced on November 8, the SBI and ATMs in Parliament have faced a cash crunch.