Opposing note ban, Congress takes protest to RBI’s door

RSTV Bureau
FILE: Varanasi: File photo of people queue up outside a bank to exchange their old Rs 500 and 1000 notes in Varanasi  on Sunday. PTI Photo

FILE: Varanasi: File photo of people queue up outside a bank to exchange their old Rs 500 and 1000 notes in Varanasi on Sunday. PTI Photo

Upping its ante against demonetisation, the principal opposition party on Wednesday held protest outside the Reserve Bank of India in Delhi and its 25 other offices across the country. In its protest, Congress party hit out against the Centre alleging “failure” to restore money supply post the demonetisation.

Opposing the move ever since it was announced by Prime Minister Modi on November 8, a decision to hold protest was taken by the party at its ‘Jan Vedna Sammelan’ presided by party vice president Rahul Gandhi last week.

The series of gherao was led by senior party leaders, including AICC General Secretaries, CWC members, PCC chiefs and the CLP leaders. Deputy leader of the party in Rajya Sabha Anand Sharma led the protest in Delhi, while party’s chief spokesman Randeep Surjewala held fort at the RBI headquarters in Mumbai.

Former Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde and Gujarat Congress chief Bharatsinh Solanki, along with nearly 130 party workers, were detained by police for trying to lock down the RBI’s regional headquarters in Ahmedabad.

Guwahati: Congress activists during their RBI gherao programme to protest against the demonestisation in Guwahati, Jan 18, 2017. Photo - PTI

Guwahati: Congress activists during their RBI gherao programme to protest against the demonestisation in Guwahati, Jan 18, 2017.
Photo – PTI

The Congress party alleged that the bank has failed on all fronts to address the woes of common man post the note ban move.

“We gave them permission for their gathering only, not for holding rally till RBI on the other side of the bridge. Madhavpura police have detained Shinde, Solanki and 90 others while trying to take out the rally. They will be released later,” Assistant Commissioner of Police Arpita Patel said.

Ahead of his detention, Gujarat Congress spokesperson Manish Doshi had claimed that “even after all these days of the note ban announcement, there is no respite for the common man. People are still reeling under acute cash crunch. Demonetisation has ruined our economy and millions were rendered jobless.”

Protests were reported in several other parts of the country, including the north-east state of Mizoram.

“Modi should inform the people about the number of deaths caused due to demonetisation and proposal for giving ex-gratia to the kin of those who died,” Mizoram Pradesh Youth Congress Committee (MPYCC) said in a statement.

Guwahati: Congress activists during their RBI gherao programme to protest against the demonestisation in Guwahati, Jan 18, 2017. Photo - PTI

Guwahati: Congress activists during their RBI gherao programme to protest against the demonestisation in Guwahati, Jan 18, 2017.
Photo – PTI

Senior leader CP Joshi, Ripun Bohra and other party leaders led the protest in Guwahati where the party workers, shouting slogans, attempted to break the security barricade to enter inside the RBI gate.

Taken in custody by the local police, the protesting leaders and party workers were later released.

The principal opposition party also criticised the Centre citing the recently released IMF’s projection of lower growth rate for India.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his hubris has managed to do what our enemies have failed since 1947, which is derail India’s economic growth story,” the AICC said in a statement.

The IMF had earlier this week cut India’s growth rate for the current fiscal year to 6.6 per cent from its previous estimate of 7.6 per cent claiming “temporary negative consumption shock” of demonetisation. Few days ago the World Bank had also decelerated India’s growth estimates.

(With inputs from the PTI)