Demonetization effect: Hartal throughout the country

  • Opposition tones down tempers, seeks debate

New Delhi: While the Lok Sabha was having a modicum of debate, the Rajya Sabha was not able to function in forenoon due to the opposition’s insistence that Prime Minister Narendra Modi should present himself in Parliament and address the members. The RS did have some debate before adjourning for Tuesday morning.  The leaders of opposition parties in Lok Sabha have appealed to the government to help the members debate the burning problems faced by the poor and the middle class. Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan was successful in running the House for a few hours.

Congress party leader in Lok Sabha Mallikharjuna Kharge said the whole country is in turmoil and the government should do what is expected of it. It is the responsibility of the government to create proper conditions in the House so that fruitful discussion takes place. He made it clear that the Congress party is supporting the government’s move to ban big notes but it is opposing the way the decision is being implemented.

Kharge said more than 70 persons died and over 1000 persons were injured as a result of the demonetization. The same stand was taken by Mulayam Singh of Samajwadi Party. BSP leader Mayawati said the Prime Minister does not have the courage to face the opposition in parliament. She said although her party is not participating in dharna or hartal, called by various opposition parties, the BSP is opposed to the way the government is going about implementing the decision on demonetization.

Trinamool Congress Party member demanded that a way should be found to create an atmosphere conducive to discussion in the House. He referred to the massive rally taken out in Kolkata. Lakhs of people walked with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to protest against the ban on big notes and the difficulties the decision caused to the people.

The CPM-led Left Front government in Kerala also called for a 12-hour strike as part of the nationwide protest against the way the decision of demonetization was implemented.  In Tripura, the CPM-led Left Front government had called for dawn-to-dusk strike in protest against the manner in which the demonetization decision is being implemented hurting the common people. CPI Secretary General Suravaram Sudhakar Reddy said the demonetization decision was meant to help Adanis and Ambanis who are close to Prime Minister’s heart.

Left Front Chairman Bimal Bose told the media persons that they are not demanding, like the TMC, to rollback the decision, but to take urgent and effective measures to go to the rescue of the people who are suffering a lot. Sanjay Raut of Shiv Sena said it is not the monopoly of any single party to fight against corruption. Every party is against black money and corruption, he said.

Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi led the protest in front of the statue of Mahatma Gandhi at the Parliament. He, along with a number of his party colleagues, shouted slogans against the government for causing innumerable problems to the common man. The CPM, the DMK and the RJD had joined the Congress in the protest.

Mehabooba Mufti, chief minister of Jammu & Kashmir said the demonetization decision is a historical one and the people will have to bear with the government for some more days for greater good for the country. The Congress party workers organized a big rally in Jammu and courted arrest.

The YSRCP had observed hartal in Andhra Pradesh while the ruling TDP and the BJP chose to keep away from the protest. The Left parties tried to enforce bandh in both Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. The AP government took a number of YSRCP and Left leaders into custody. The Left parties have made an impact on Hyderabad for a few hours when they took out rallies. The life in both the Telugu States went on as usual without any major incidents.

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