Marking a month of government decision to demonetise the higher denomination currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000, the Opposition parties held a protest at the Parliament House complex on Thursday. Observing what they term a ‘Black Day’, the Opposition leaders claimed that situation due to cash crunch is only “worsening”.
“…this is a foolish decision, it has devastated the country. More than 100 people have died. Farmers, fishermen, daily wage earners have been hit hard,” Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi said.
Reiterating the stated position of the Opposition parties, especially Congress, TMC, Left, Samajwadi Party, BSP and others, Gandhi said, “Prime Minister should come to Parliament to debate on demonetisation… we will not let him run away”.
The Opposition parties are seeking Prime Minister Modi’s intervention in both the houses. However, proceedings in Parliament have been paralysed due to the protest.
On the other hand, the government criticised the Opposition’s ‘Black Day’ protest, even dubbing it a big “tamasha”.
“Dharna by opposition parties near Gandhi statute in Parliament premises is big tamasha and insult to Father of Nation,” Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu told addressing the press pack in Parliament, adding “I don’t understand why some people are observing black day. I can’t understand”.
The issue has led to a major impasse between the Opposition and Government, resulting into a near freeze of business in Parliament’s on-going Winter session.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on November 8 announced the decision to demonetise higher denomination currency notes, pitching the move as one that will help the government in curbing corruption as well as fighting black money, terror and money laundering in a big way.
While the Opposition had welcomed the move against corruption, they have been extremely critical of its implementation, terming the move as anti-people. They have also claimed that more than 100 people have died post the move due to exhaustion or stress, while standing in long queues outside the banks and ATMs.
PM Modi, in one of his rallies in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh, had assured that situation will improve within 50 days.
(With inputs from the PTI)