Opposition to observe November 8 as Black Day to protest note ban
New Delhi: Opposition parties on Tuesday said they will observe November 8 as Black Day to protest against the "ill-conceived and hasty" decision of the government to scrap Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes a year ago.
Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad told reporters here that the opposition parties have worked out a joint strategy to register their protest against the November 8 demonetisation.
"Demonetisation was an ill-conceived and hasty decision of the government. It is unprecedented, perhaps in the entire world, that a government had to alter its policy 135 times within a month," Azad said, recalling how the government kept changing its rules in the aftermath of the note ban last year.
The decision to mark November 8 as a Black Day was taken at the opposition's coordination committee meeting on Monday attended by JD-U rebel leader Sharad Yadav, CPI MP D. Raja, DMK MP Kanimozhi, BSP's Satish Mishra and Trinamool Congress' Derek O'Brien.
Azad said no particular way of protest had been decided and various opposition parties would do it in different ways like holding demonstrations, taking out processions and educating the masses about the damage wreaked by demonetisation.
"The general public did not fully realise, or it could not foresee, the ramifications of demonetisation. They thought the Prime Minister might be correct vis-a-vis the objectives of demonetisation. But one year down the line, the people are realising the damage done by this ill-conceived step," Azad said.
He said that "almost every political party except the BJP" was on board in observing November 8 as Black Day.
"I cannot say that even the BJP is fully an exception because many of their MPs and one of their former Finance Ministers have spoken against this decision. In the opposition everybody is on board," Azad said.
Reiterating that none of the stated objectives of the demonetisation had been achieved, Trinamool MP Derek O'Brien termed the note ban as "biggest scam of the century" and said that in Bengal it would be observed as "Kalo Dibash".
Sharad Yadav was also present at the briefing.