Nation Current Affairs 17 Nov 2016 Mamata, Kejriwal tak ...

Mamata, Kejriwal take to streets, demand roll back of note ban in 3 days

PTI
Published Nov 17, 2016, 8:39 pm IST
Updated Nov 17, 2016, 8:45 pm IST
The two CMs termed the measure as ‘dictatorial’ and warned of unrest if it was not withdrawn in three days.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee join hands at mass rally against demonetisation of currency notes, at Azadpur Mandi in New Delhi. (Photo: PTI)
 Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee join hands at mass rally against demonetisation of currency notes, at Azadpur Mandi in New Delhi. (Photo: PTI)

New Delhi/Azamgarh/Mumbai: Mamata Banerjee and Arvind Kejriwal, the two opposition chief ministers, who have been demanding a roll back of demonetisation exercise, today took to streets of Delhi, terming the measure as "dictatorial" and warned of unrest if it was not withdrawn in three days.

With public frustration and agony over the continuing cash crunch boiling over, the two also demonstrated outside the RBI office on Parliament Street and demanded that they be informed about the availability of cash, but in vain.

 

Addressing traders at Azadpur wholesale fruit and vegetable market, the biggest such marketplace in the national capital, Delhi Chief Minister Kejriwal described demonetisation of high-value currency notes as the "biggest scam" in independent India's history, while his West Bengal counterpart Banerjee said Prime Minister Narendra Modi should not run the country like a "dictator", calling their protest a fight to save the country.

The Delhi Chief Minister alleged that demonetisation was being carried out to write-off around Rs 8 lakh crore of loan owed by Modi's "corporate friends" by collecting Rs 10 lakh crore from the people through the exercise.

"Black money is flooding the market again. Notes are being home delivered to some people. This is independent India's biggest scam. The government wants to amass Rs 10 lakh crore by forcing the people to deposit their money in banks and use that amount to write off loans of Modiji's friends.” He warned there will be unrest if the measure was not rolled back in three days.

In her address, Banerjee attacked the Prime Minister and made light of the argument that people should use plastic money, saying only 4 per cent people in India use cards for transaction.

Asserting that she will continue her fight for the people, Banerjee challenged the government to take any action against her. "I am not scared. I will continue my fight. If you have courage, put me in jail, shoot me."

However, BJP chief Amit Shah made a stout defence of the government, which also came under attack in the two houses of Parliament over demonetisation, saying those opposing the exercise were "exposing" themselves as anyone who is clean has no reason to oppose the move.

"BJP leaders are not worried with this (demonetisation) move. Those who have black money they are rattled. If they are clean, then why they are opposing this move.”

"Mayawati, Congress, Samajwadi Party, Mamata, Communists, Kejriwal...all are raising hue and cry (over demonetisation). Why are you all crying foul? Why are you exposing yourself before the public?" he told BJP's 'Parivartan Yatra' rally in SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav's Lok Sabha constituency Azamgarh in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh.

"Akhilesh bhai (Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav)...what are you concerned about? We did not have black money so there is no question of it going away. In just one stroke, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has rendered the notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 useless," Shah said.

"Modiji sent Vijay Mallya, who has huge debt, to London one night. He has also brought people to the streets (following demonetisation). People are being cheated. Why did IT not raid former BJP Minister G Janardana Reddy who spent Rs 500 crores in his daughter's wedding? And they want us common people to spend Rs 2.5 lakh in a wedding," Kejriwal said addressing the rally at Azadpur market.

Kejriwal also took a dig at Finance Minister Arun Jaitley wondering if he spent only Rs 2.5 lakh on his daughter's wedding recently. "Modiji, do not fool people by saying that standing in line is patriotism. Who is responsible for the death of 40 people standing in queues?" he said.

Calling her fight against demonetisation a fight to "save the country, a fight for the poor and hungry people", Banerjee said India had not witnessed such a crisis even during Emergency.

"This decision may take the country 100 years back. The government is coming out with a decision every day. The day before yesterday it was said the limit for exchange is Rs 4,500, today you say it is Rs 2,000.”

"The other day it was said indelible ink will have to be put on fingers. What is going on? Are we servants, are we thieves and you are honest. Is everybody a thief?" she said.

She also rejected the demand by some opposition parties to set up a Joint Parliamentary Committee to probe demonetisation, saying such committees constituted in the past to investigate various issues did not yield any result.

From Azadpur market, Banerjee and Kejriwal made a dash for the RBI office. "How much currency needed? How much printed? What is capacity? How many more days will it take? Myself and Mamtadi at RBI to get this info," Kejriwal tweeted.

Banerjee said they came to RBI to know whether the central bank had enough currency or not. "Our main apprehension is shortage of currency. We are here to check whether there is enough cash to disburse among the people."

TMC MP Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar, who along with some other TMC MPs accompanied Banerjee, said officials of RBI failed to give them a satisfactory answer when asked about availability of currency for distribution.

"They gave us last year's report on the availability of notes. Ultimately the two leaders had to go without getting any satisfying response," she said.

Hitting out at the parties criticising the Centre's demonetisation decision, Amit Shah said all the money with terrorists, drug mafia, naxals and corrupt black marketeers has been reduced to mere scrap.

"People have to stand in queues and we too are concerned ...when big decisions are taken they give some problems but it makes the lives of others happy," Shah said, adding this (step) will bring down inflation and check black marketing and all fake currency notes from Pakistan will become useless.

The Delhi Chief Minister also made certain allegations against Modi pertaining to his tenure as Gujarat Chief Minister, claiming to base his allegations on documents given to him by "someone sitting in a top position" in the Finance Ministry.

Asserting that she will continue her fight for the people, Banerjee challenged the government to take any action against her. "I am not scared. I will continue my fight. If you have courage, put me in jail, shoot me."

Calling her fight against demonetisation a fight to "save the country, a fight for the poor and hungry people", the West Bengal CM said India had not witnessed such a crisis even during Emergency.

"This decision may take the country 100 years back. The government is coming out with a decision every day. The day before yesterday it was said the limit for exchange is Rs 4,500, today you say it is Rs 2,000.”

Banerjee also made light of the argument that people should use plastic money, saying only 4 per cent people in India use cards for transaction.

"The other day it was said indelible ink will have to be put on fingers. What is going on? Are we servants, are we thieves and you are honest. Is everybody a thief?" she said.

On plastic money, Banerjee said use of cash has been the basis of India's economy, adding if money does not reach people, there may be severe problem of food in the country.

"The Prime Minister who goes abroad so frequently, has forgotten the smell of our land...The provisions of the Constitution are being breached. We did not have this kind of a situation during Emergency," she said.

She also rejected the demand by some opposition parties to set up a Joint Parliamentary Committee to probe demonetisation, saying such committees constituted in the past to go into various issues did not yield any result.

Questioning the government's commitment to check black money, she also asked what steps it has taken to bring back ill-gotten wealth stashed abroad.

...
Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi




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