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Ten Opposition parties get ready to take on govt

Ten Opposition parties get ready to take on govt
After shying away in the beginning finally the entire opposition is joining the anti demonetization movement, 10 opposition parties have decided to take on the government unitedly, both inside and outside Parliament.

Leaders of Congress, Trinamool Congress, JD(U), BSP, CPI(M), CPI, NCP, RJD, JMM and DMK held a meeting on Monday morning to forge a common plan of action with an aim of mounting attack on the government.

At the meeting, which was attended by Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, it was decided that these parties will continue to press for an adjournment motion in Lok Sabha and a debate under a rule which entails voting.

Proceedings in the Lower House have already been washed out during the last two working days because of these demands.

Rajya Sabha, which saw day-long inconclusive debate on demonetisation on the opening day of the session on November 16, has failed to function as the opposition has been pressing for the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the House before the discussion could be resumed.

The government has refused to accept this demand, saying Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has been present in the House all through the debate and he will reply to it.

Leaders of these parties will hold such strategy sessions every morning before Parliament assembles during the ongoing Winter session, sources said.

It was decided that MPs of these 10 parties will stage a sit-in near Mahatma Gandhi’s statue in the Parliament complex on Wednesday. This will be followed by a march to Rashtrapati Bhawan possibly on Friday.

With Trinamool Congress taking the lead in uniting the opposition parties, its chief Mamata Banerjee is expected to reach Delhi on Tuesday for the agitational programme, they said.

“This is good news that opposition parties have decided to work together with focus on alleviating the sufferings of the people,” Trinamool Congress leader Derek O’Brien said.

Besides Rahul, those who attended Monday’s meeting included Congress party’s Leaders of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge and Ghulam Nabi Azad, Trinamool’s Sudip Bandhyopadhyay and O’Brien, JD(U)’s Sharad Yadav, BSP’s Satish Mishra, CPI(M)’s Sitaram Yechury, CPI’s D Raja.

Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, who visited several ATMs on Monday morning and interacted with people, claimed he was told that cash was being taken out surreptitiously from the back door in the banks for a few “selected people” while there were long queues of common people waiting outside for hours.

Centre’s demonetisation move is a plan which even the country’s worst enemies would not be able to better, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury alleged as he targeted the Modi dispensation over withdrawal of Rs 1000 and Rs 500 notes. He said the recovery of unpaid bank loans from corporates should have been the government’s priority instead of demonetisation, which has “hurt only the poor”. Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal exhorted people to “change PM, not notes”.

Kejriwal continued to target Modi over the issue, asking the latter to come clear on his “relations” with a mobile wallet company, claiming its business has seen an “upswing” since demonetisation.
Simontini Bhattacharjee

Simontini Bhattacharjee

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