West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee along with her MPs led a march to Rashtrapati Bhawan petitioning the President against Central government’s demonetisation move. Former Jammu and Kashmir CM Omar Abdullah and leaders of BJP-ally Shiv Sena too walked along with Mamata Banerjee even as Rajya Sabha took up the debate on the issue.
Mamata Banerjee has been pivotal in gathering the Opposition ranks against government’s demonetisation move. While the opposition has been attacking Modi government over the issue, there has been lack of unanimity over march to the President.
“We had a successful meeting with the President during which we discussed the issue. And the President said he would look into the matter,” she said, after emerging out of the Rashtrapati Bhawan.
Calling the situation arising out of demonitisation a “sort of constitutional crisis”, the contingent of leaders submitted a memorandum before President Pranab Mukherjee.
“Stop harassment of the common people by lifting of all sorts of restrictions recently thrust upon them,” the five-page memorandum said, and added “ensure that supply of essential commodities in adequate quantities be restored in the markets forthwith.”
Speaking about her next move on the issue, she said “Our party will move adjournment motion in Lok Sabha”.
On Sunday, Mamata Banerjee had called up several opposition leaders to work in unison over the issue of demonetisation. Besides Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, she had also reached out to the CPI (M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury, keeping ideological differences aside.
The opposition, though held several parleys to strategise their move, there were differences over the march to the President’s door at this stage.
Her reachout, meanwhile, have caused dents in the government ranks with long-time BJP ally Shiv Sena joining the Mamata-led march. Shiv Sena, however, clarified that they are not demanding a roll-back of demonetisation but are only expressing solidarity with the Opposition on the subject of public inconvenience caused by the move.
“We welcome the demonetisation move. But we are against the inconvenience caused to people due to it. We have not signed the memorandum (that will be presented to the President Pranab Mukherjee),” said Gajanan Kirtikar of Shiv Sena who took part in the march.