Finding common ground over the demonetisation issue, 10 opposition parties on Monday decided to take on the government unitedly, both inside and outside Parliament. In a related development, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, who had last week given a 3-day “ultimatum” to the government seeking roll-back of demonetisation, announced protest in New Delhi on Tuesday.
Stepping up its attack on the Centre, Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP too announced its protest march to the Parliament on Tuesday.
Earlier in the day, as both the houses of Parliament continued to witness protest, leaders of the Congress, Trinamool Congress, JD(U), BSP, CPI(M), CPI, NCP, RJD, JMM and DMK held a meeting to forge a common plan of action with an aim of mounting attack on the government.
At the meeting, which was attended by Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, it was decided that these parties will continue to press for an adjournment motion in Lok Sabha and a debate under Rule 56, which entails voting. The Opposition is also demanding PM Modi’s intervention on the issue.
Meanwhile, the government has refused to accept both the demands. It is of view that discussions in Lok Sabha be held under Rule 193, which doesn’t 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. This will be followed by a march to Rashtrapati Bhawan, date for which is being worked out, the sources said.
Besides Rahul, those who attended today’s meeting included Congress party’s Leaders of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge and Ghulam Nabi Azad, Trinamool’s Sudip Bandhyopadhyay and O’Brien, JD(U)’s Sharad Yadav, BSP’s Satish Mishra, CPI(M)’s Sitaram Yechury, CPI’s D Raja.
“The PM can speak on Cold Play (conclave), but not address the opposition on demonetisation, demands for a JPC on leakage of demonetisation information to some corporates and deaths of people standing in queue to get money from banks and ATMs,” said Mohd Salim of CPI (M).
Later in afternoon, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said she would hit the streets of Delhi tomorrow to protest against the Centre’s move which caused immense hardship to the people.
“I will be in Delhi on November 23, 24 and in Lucknow on November 29. I will also go to Bihar and Punjab,” Banerjee told a press conference at the state secretariat in Howrah.
“This is not a political issue. We are speaking on behalf of commoners. Markets are closed. Small traders are hit,” she remarked adding, “I will request all (opposition) political parties to be with the people”.
(With inputs from the PTI)