Opposition to hold protests today, Parl logjam persists
As the demonetisation entered the third week,the political fight further intensified on Tuesday with an united opposition deciding to hold protests in Delhi on Wednesday while BJP decried alleged “malicious” attempts by those opposing the drive to provoke violence and chaos.
Parliament on Tuesday saw yet another day of washout with an aggressive opposition raking up a fresh demand for Rs 10 lakh compensation to the kin of each of those who died due to problems post demonetisation besides pressing for presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the debate on the issue.
Neither the Rajya Sabha nor the Lok Sabha could transact any business due to continuous uproar and pandemonium, leading to their premature adjournment. This was the fourth straight working day of Parliament that was washed out.
Delhi’s Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and his cabinet colleague Kapil Mishra were detained when they tried to march to Parliament from Jantar Mantar protesting demonetisation.
Before beginning the march, Sisodia launched an attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, alleging he is making people cry and shedding “crocodile tears”.
Accusing opposition parties of “running away” from a debate on the demonetisation issue in Parliament, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said it only showed they are not serious in the fight against corruption.
Key BJP ally Shiv Sena also escalated its broadside against the BJP with party chief Uddhav Thackeray saying the senior ally should stop branding people as patriots or anti- nationals as per its “whims and fancies” while responding to criticism of the cash clean-up drive.
Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi took a jibe at Modi, saying that if he can speak on TV and pop concerts then why not in the Parliament. “We will hold dharna in front of the Gandhi statue (outside Parliament building) tomorrow at 9.45 AM on the demonetisation issue.
“It was decided to meet the President. But the date will be decided. We will go step by step,” Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia said after the strategy meeting of opposition parties here. Mohd Salim (CPI-M) said street protests are also on the agenda.
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.
Condemning “malicious” efforts of rival parties, a resolution adopted at a meeting of BJP Parliamentary Party alleged that they are desperate to provoke violence and chaos as they have been “rattled” by people’s wide support to the decision.