The Samajwadi Party, the Bahujan Samaj Party, the Left, the DMK and the Nationalist Congress Party didn’t join the Congress-led delegation that met President Pranab Mukherjee on Friday to submit a memorandum, accusing the government of not allowing them to discuss its decision to recall Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes in Parliament. The Congress, along with 15 Opposition parties, stalled proceedings in Parliament for most of the month-long session, demanding that the PM be present during the debate on demonetisation and reply to it. In the Lok Sabha, they wanted the debate under rules that entail voting, only to relent last week. The Trinamool Congress, the Rashtriya Janata Dal, the JD(U) and the All India United Democratic Front were part of the delegation that went to Rashtrapati Bhavan. Sources said a number of Opposition parties decided to drop out at the last moment as they were not happy with Rahul Gandhi’s “unilateral decision” to meet the PM when they had stood with the Congress in stalling proceedings in Parliament. “You cannot stall Parliament for a month demanding the PM’s presence and then go to meet the PM even before it is adjourned sine die. You didn’t find it proper to consult us,” said an NCP leader.
Congress leaders, however, claimed that the party was campaigning in UP, Punjab and other states over farm loan waiver and so there was nothing wrong in going to the PM with this demand. For the record, CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury said: “From day 1, we have been against going to the President but for the sake of Opposition unity, we didn’t oppose. We want to go to the people. The President cannot help much in this issue.” Samajwadi Party’s Kiranmay Nanda offered a similar explanation, saying that his party would take it to the people in UP elections. “Farmers are committing suicide all over the country… The government has removed the import duty on wheat. This is a devastating blow. So we went to the PM to request him on behalf of farmers of this country to waive their loans,” said Rahul Gandhi.
Rahul has no guts to expose Modi: Kejriwal
New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Friday that Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi had no courage to expose Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s alleged corruption.
“Rahul doesn’t have guts to expose anything against Modiji. The day he does it, Modiji will arrest (his brother-in-law) Robert Vadra,” the Aam Aadmi Party leader tweeted. Kejriwal’s comment came days after Gandhi threatened to expose corruption by Modi. He has not done so, but on Friday he led a Congress delegation to Modi to plead the cause of the farmers. mpost
How many more will die, Mamata asks PM
Kolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has expressed concern over the death of nearly 100 people as a fall out of demonetisation — announced by the Prime Minister on November 8 — and asked him how many more people have to die.
Earlier, Trinamool Congress MP Derek O’ Brien had on Friday tweeted that “100 people have now died due to #DeMonetisation between Nov 8 – Dec 15.” Banerjee too tweeted: “How many more every day Modi Babu?”
The Bengal government is the first in the country to have given jobs to the next of kin of two persons who died while waiting in queues to withdraw money. Following her instructions, Mayor Sovan Chatterjee visited the house of a victim in Behala, who was a state government employee in North Bengal. It may be mentioned that within 15 minutes after Modi had announced demonetisation of high value notes, Banerjee criticised it and said it would bring enormous pain to the poor. She was the first to raise her voice against demonetisation without “proper planning” and demanded it should be withdrawn till proper steps were taken.
Banerjee also addressed meetings in Delhi, Lucknow and Patna to highlight the ordeal of the common man due to the “draconian decision.” On Thursday, she also met RBI Governor Urjit Patel at Nabanna to convey her concerns.