Senior BJP leader Ram Madhav tweets ‘test of patriotism’ as harassed India queues up at ATMs

New Delhi, Nov 15:  Overnight queues outside ATMs and banks have not eased a week after the government’s ‘surgical strike’ on black money with the abolition of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes.

As reports of severe hardship and even death surface, senior BJP leader Ram Madhav reminded people about “patriotism” in difficult times.

“Test of patriotism is in difficult times only. We see it abundantly these days. Otherwise everyone is an armchair-patriot in normal times,” Madhav tweeted.

In several public meetings since weekend, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has appealed to citizens to bear with him for “50 days”.

“I am aware you are facing difficulties… I understand the inconvenience,” he said in Uttar Pradesh on Monday.

“I am really pained by the inconvenience and that is why I am working tirelessly to help people overcome this situation.”

A united opposition preps to target the government in parliament over what it calls the immense hardship for the common man, PM Modi told his party lawmakers at a strategy meeting in parliament that the country supports the move and the government need not be defensive.

While announcing the ban on the highest currency notes last Tuesday, the prime minister said tough measures were needed to bring undeclared wealth into the mainstream economy.

The government has announced measures to ease the crunch.

The weekly withdrawal limit from banks has been raised from Rs. 20,000 to 24,000. A network of banking agents, who travel to rural areas to provide people with access to banking services, will carry more cash.

The use of old notes has been extended till November 24 at government hospitals, private clinics, petrol stations and essential services.

The banned notes can be exchanged for new ones or deposited in a bank account until December 30.