A united opposition is holding a protest at the Gandhi statue in Parliament House complex against government’s demonetisation move. More than ten opposition parties joined the protest to up the ante against the government. Led by the Congress, the demonstration included Trinamool Congress, Left Front, JD(U), SP, BSP, DMK among others.
The opposition 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.
The decision to hold a protest on Wednesday morning was taken at the strategy meeting of the opposition parties.
“It was decided to meet the President. But the date will be decided. We will go step by step,” said Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia after the meeting.
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 would also be highlighted at the sit in.
The opposition has been demanding a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) to look into the alleged leak of information about the demonetisation decision to certain corporates.
Leaders of various parties, including those from Congress, Trinamool Congress, JD(U), CPI(M), CPI, NCP and RJD attended the meeting to further their joint strategy to corner the government in the ongoing Winter session.
The united opposition is also planning a march to the Rashtrapati Bhawan at a later date.
Some opposition parties are also planning a street protest on the issue, with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee slated to join in on Wednesday. Continuing her tirade against the Centre, Mamata also appealed to other opposition parties to join her street to protest.
“I will stage a protest at Jantar Mantar at 1230 hrs and I appeal to other (opposition) parties to register their protests on the roads on demonetisation which has caused hardship to the common people,” she told reporters at the Kolkata airport before leaving for Delhi.
On whether other parties will join her, she said “If any party wants to come, they are welcome. In Parliament, we are all working together.”
CPI (M)’s Mohd Salim also hinted his party’s plan of holding street protests.
The issue has already led to a freeze in both the houses of Parliament with Opposition sticking to its protest since the day 2 of the Winter session last week. They are demanding Prime Minister Modi’s presence in the house as a precondition to hold debate on demonetisation.
Earlier in the day, referring to PM Modi’s absence from the debate, Congress vice-President Rahul Gandhi said that if he (Prime Minister) can speak on TV and pop concerts then why not in the Parliament.
“He can speak on TV, he can speak in pop concerts, then why not in Parliament?,” Gandhi said speaking to reporters outside the Parliament House.
PM Modi had last weekend video-addressed the Global Citizen Festival in Mumbai’s Bandra Kurla complex.
(With inputs from the PTI)