Seeking immediate withdrawal of the currency ban on Rs 1000 and Rs 500 notes, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal pitched a strong protest against the Centre. Addressing a rally at Delhi’s Azadpur vegetable market, the two leaders asked the government to roll back its move in three days.
While Mamata Banerjee said such a crisis was not seen even during Emergency, Kejriwal alleged that demonetisation was the “biggest scam” in Independent India’s history.
“What will you eat if there is no currency note? Will you eat diamonds, or will you eat ATM…?” Mamata said attacking the government at Azadpur market.
“This is independent India’s biggest scam. The government wants to amass Rs 10 lakh crore by forcing the people to deposit their money in banks and use that amount to write off loans of Modiji’s friends,” Kejriwal said.
The Delhi Chief Minister also alleged that while demonetisation was being carried out, common trader is hounded by raids.
“Modiji sent Vijay Mallya, who has huge debt, to London one night. He has also brought people to the streets (following demonetisation). People are being cheated. Why did IT not raid former BJP Minister G Janardana Reddy who spent Rs 500 crores in his daughter’s wedding? And they want us common people to spend Rs 2.5 lakh in a wedding,” he said.
Meanwhile, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley rejected the demands of rolling back the government’s demonetisation move.
The two leaders then took their fight forward reaching the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) building in a bid to know availability of currency. They also spoke to the people standing outside the central bank.
“Our main apprehension is shortage of currency. We are here to check whether there is enough cash to disburse among the people,” Mamata Banrjee told the press outside RBI.
TMC MP Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar, who along with some other TMC MPs accompanied Banerjee, said officials of RBI failed to come up with satisfying answer when asked about availability of currency for distribution. “They gave us last year’s report on the availability of notes. Ultimately the two leaders had to go without getting any satisfying response,” she said.
Meanwhile, security personnel struggled to maintain order as a huge crowd gathered with some raising pro-Modi slogans while some others cheered for Kejriwal.
(With inputs from the PTI)