Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday slammed the opposition for obstructing Parliament’s functioning over demonestisation and asked BJP MPs to encourage people to embrace a digital and cashless economy.
Attending a Bharatiya Janata Party Parliamentary Party meeting here, the Prime Minister also thanked the people for their support for the November 8 demonetisation of high-value Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said Modi wanted a public awareness campaign, similar to one on the use of electronic voting machines in eletions, to be put into effect to encourage people to go cashless economy.
“The opposition is not allowing Parliament to function. I went to the Rajya Sabha but they shouted slogans. Despite this, I sat there. We are ready to discuss but they are reluctant. You go to your areas, talk to the people and expose the opposition,” a BJP leader present at the meeting quoted Modi as saying.
According to informed sources, Modi said: “Janshakti hamare sath hai aur janshakti hamesha rajshakti se upar hoti hai (People’s power is with us and it is above political power).”
The sources quoted Modi as saying that the people are helping one another after demonetisation in a similar way they help one another during natural calamities.
Ananth Kumar said the government has made it clear on several occasions that the Prime Minister will speak on demonetisation in both the houses but the opposition is creating a ruckus due to their political agenda.
Ananth Kumar said the Congress and the Trinamool Congress members are stalling the proceedings even though the government is willing to hold discussion.
The minister said the BJP Parliamentary Party passed a resolution to hail public support for the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes, which has led to cash crunch across the country.
India has reduced to a ‘banana republic’, PM must apologise: Oppn
Accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi of reducing India to a “banana republic” by imposing demonetisation, the opposition on Wednesday asked him to apologise for the move, a demand the government was quick to dismiss averring that it was in the country’s interest.
The opposition also termed as “immature” Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s remark that its members were not taking part in discussion on demonetisation in the House, but were using the issue for “getting footage on TV”, and said the situation was otherwise and it was Modi who wanted to be seen on television.
On the BJP parliamentary party passing a resolution claiming public support for demonetisation, the opposition leaders asked the ruling party “to check ground realities” first and stressed that the people continue to reel under hardships. “The impression that has gone worldwide post demonetisation is that money that was there with housewives, labourers, salaried employees was black money. India’s image has been hit. Even the foreign tourists coming here, embassies are not getting money,” Congress leader Anand Sharma told reporters outside Parliament.
“We have been reduced to a banana republic. This responsibility lies with one person: the Prime Minister. He should apologise for (what) he has inflicted upon people of the country,” he said. Sharma said Jaitley’s statement was “very unfortunate and immature” and that it should have been avoided.
“(Rather it is) the Prime Minister who wants to be seen on TV all the time, so does the Finance Minister. What do they expect? That the opposition has no right to question, criticise wrong decisions?” he asked.
Echoing Sharma, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said it is “only the Prime Minister who is seen there on TV.” Referring to the BJP parliamentary party resolution, the Rajya Sabha MP suggested the ruling party should do a reality check as he noted that the poor continued to suffer post withdrawal of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes.