On Thursday, the first day of Parliament’s Winter Session, a united Opposition criticised government’s move that made higher denomination notes of ₹ 500 and ₹ 1000 defunct.
The discussion which went on until the end of day, will continue again for the second day on Thursday .
Congress, CPI (M), Samajwadi Party, Janata Dal (U), Bahujan Samaj Party, NCP all voiced their concern for the inconvenience it has caused to the common man who has to wait in queues for hours in front of banks and ATMs.
Even though, all parties were on board in their fight against black money and corruption, they criticised government’s execution highlighting the suffering of the masses, especially the farmers, daily wage earners and the dependent housewives.
It’s been a week since Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced demonetisation of the currency last Tuesday.
In a hard-hitting speech, Leader of the Opposition of the House, Anand Sharma lashed out at the recent speeches given by PM Modi in Goa and Ghazipur in Uttar Pradesh.
“In his speech in Goa, Prime Minister Narendra Modi called the poor people criminals and scamsters…He should apologise for his comment,” said Sharma.
Sharma also raised the issue that the super-secretive government move was selectively leaked to several members of the BJP. He demanded a probe into the issue.
JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav said unlike the rich, who the PM said were standing in queue, it was the poor, handicapped and old people who were doing so to get their hands on their hard earned money.
CPI(M)’s Sitaram Yechury took a dig at PM Modi and narrated the infamous quote of Queen Marie Antoinette during the French revolution who had said that people can eat cakes when they don’t have bread.
“We have Modi Antoinette who says ‘If you don’t have paper, use plastic'” scoffed Yechury.
Samajwadi Party’s Ramgopal Yadav highlighted the plight of housewives who he said he saw standing in queues for hours.
BSP supremo alleged that the government demonetised the currency deliberately ahead of Assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh which are scheduled to take place early next year.
Demanding a probe into the mater, she alleged that several BJP leaders were reported to have stashed away large sums of money ahead of PM’s announcement.
On the other hand, ministers Piyush Goyal and Venkaiah Naidu defended the government’s move and praised the Prime Minister for tackling the problem of black money head on.
“For the first time in this country, the honest have been awarded and the dishonest people have been punished,” said Goyal.
“I am confident that public is understanding the initial problems because the decision was kept a secret. No honest tax-payer will lose a single rupee. The loss will be of those who have amassed wealth through corruption and black money and the public should also support the government in the move,” Goyal assured the House.
He also said the government was open to taking suggestions from other parties on how to make the life of the common man better.