Opposition steps up attack over demonetisation, to unitedly protest (Roundup)
New Delhi, Nov 21 (IANS) The Congress on Monday held a meeting with other like minded parties over the issue of demonetisation to unitedly mount pressure on the government, even as the AAP announced it will gherao Parliament on Tuesday.
The meeting was attended among others by leaders of Trinamool Congress, Janata Dal-United, Bahujan Samaj Party, CPI(M), CPI, NCP, RJD, JMM and DMK.
Inside Parliament too, opposition parties kept up their protest on the demonetisation of 500 and 1,000 rupee notes, leading to several adjournments of both houses through the day.
Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi, who earlier in the day interacted with people standing in bank queues, was also present in the meet.
Sources said that it was decided in the meeting that they will continue to mount pressure on government for an adjournment motion in Lok Sabha and a debate under a rule which entails voting.
It was also decided that MPs of these 10 parties will stage a sit-in near Mahatma Gandhi’s statue in the Parliament complex on Wednesday.
The opposition parties are also to hold a march to Rashtrapati Bhavan, sources said.
Rahul Gandhi, who took to the streets on Monday morning, accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of acting on his whims and fancies and said, “We will have to find a new word to define him.”
“Why is Modiji supposed to come to Parliament? He is at another level now,” Gandhi told journalists outside Parliament after earlier interacting with people queuing up at an ATMs in Delhi’s Jahangirpuri area.
“He does not consult his ministers and takes decisions according to his whims and fancies,” Gandhi said.
“He took the biggest economic decision in the history of India by informing just three to four people (about demonetisation). There was no plan and no thought was given to its negative repercussions,” he said.
“He cannot be even called a ‘Super PM’. We can see his different form. We will have to find a new word to define him,” Gandhi said, adding that he was ready to discuss the demonetisation issue in Parliament.
“Those 15 to 20 people close to PM will be benefited (by the currency spike). Their loans will be waived off. The poor will incur losses.”
Gandhi’s comments came after he made a surprise visit to the ATM where people queuing up to draw cash complained how badly their lives had been hit since the November 8 demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes.
Gandhi asked people about the difficulties they faced due to the demonetisation. He also asked those in the queue if they found the spiking of the old currency useful.
Meanwhile, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced in Kolkata that she will protest on the streets of Delhi on Wednesday against demonetisation while the Aam Aadmi Party announced to gherao Parliament on Tuesday.
“I am going to Delhi tomorrow. I will be on the road on Wednesday. if we get invitation, we will join the protest programme of other parties on November 23. I also request everybody to join our programme as this is a big fight,” Banerjee told the media.
The Trinamool Congress supremo said she would address a rally in Lucknow on November 29.
“I will address one or two meetings in Bihar also on December 1 and 2. I will also go to Punjab to speak on behalf of the common man,” she said.
“Till the time people don’t get justice, my movement will continue,” she said.
The AAP announced to ‘gherao’ Parliament to protest against demonetisation which it said was in reality meant to help corporate houses and not unearth black money.
“We will march to Parliament and ‘gherao’ it under (Deputy Chief Minister) Manish Sisodia’s leadership,” Aam Aadmi Party leaders Ashish Khetan and Dilip Pandey told the media.
The AAP also said that demonetisation would be one of its major election planks in the states it contests upcoming assembly elections.
Delhi Chief Minister and AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal will also address three public rallies in Meerut, Lucknow and Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh on the issue of demonetisation starting from December 1.
In Tirupati, Telugu Desam Party MP N. Sivaprasad staged a novel protest over the difficulties faced by people due to demonetisation.
The Lok Sabha member from Chittoor, who is known for his antics, dressed as a folk performer and staged the protest outside the State Bank of India (SBI) branch on Tilak Road.
Holding a ‘veena’, the TDP leader performed ‘Burrakatha’ to highlight the problems faced by people in the wake of demonetisation.
The TDP is a partner in the BJP-led government at the Centre. Party president and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu had long been demanding demonetisation of major currency notes.