United against demonetisation, Oppn spreads protest outside Parliament

RSTV Bureau
New Delhi:  Opposition members form a human chain during a protest against the demonetization of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes at Parliament house in New Delhi on Wednesday, Nov 23, 2016. Photo - PTI

New Delhi: Opposition members form a human chain during a protest against the demonetization of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes at Parliament house in New Delhi on Wednesday, Nov 23, 2016.
Photo – PTI

More than 300 opposition MPs from both the house of Parliament held a protest at the Gandhi statue in Parliament House complex against government’s demonetisation move. Led by the Congress party, more than ten opposition parties — Trinamool Congress, Left Front, JD(U), SP, BSP, DMK among others — formed a long human chain upping their ante as much as displaying Opposition unity over the issue .

The leaders raised slogans against the government highlighting the plight of the common man who is facing a cash-crunch post government’s demonetisation move on November 8.

Attacking the government, especially Prime Minister Narendra Modi, over the decision, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi said, “what PM has done is world’s biggest impromptu financial experiment”.

“He did not ask anyone. Finance Minister did not know. The Chief economic adviser did not know. This decision is not that of Finance Minister. This is the Prime Minister’s decision,” he said.

New Delhi: Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi at Parliament. Photo - PTI

New Delhi: Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi at Parliament.
Photo – PTI

Criticising PM Modi further, Gandhi reiterated the opposition demand of his presence in the house when the debate takes place.

“Prime Minister can give lectures to pop concert where ‘naach gaana’ is going on. 200 MPs are saying they want to tell the nation why he took this decision. PM does not want to come to Parliament. Why is PM afraid of going inside? He is obviously anxious about something,” Rahul Gandhi said.

Alleging once again that the information regarding the government move was “leaked” to the people “close to the BJP”, Gandhi raised the demand for a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe.

“We feel there is a scam behind this decision. We feel he informed his own people before and the opposition is firm that it wants a JPC,” he said, adding the opposition is “cent percent united” on the issue.

Claiming that “one billion” people are being “harrassed” after the move, he also demanded that Parliament condole the death of people who died standing in queues outside banks and ATMs.

The decision to hold a protest on Wednesday morning was taken at the strategy meeting of the opposition parties. The united opposition is also planning a march to the Rashtrapati Bhawan at a later date.

Apart from the main issue of Modi government’s demonetisation move, issues like plight of the common man, farmers, reported deaths of people standing in bank and ATM queues, leakage of information on demonetisation before it was announced were the highlighted at the sit in.