Thousands of people from all walks of life on Wednesday joined the rally organised by Trinamool Congress to protest against the hasty and arbitrary decision of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi to demonetise high value notes that has caused untold misery to common people.
The rally started from College Square and ended at Dorina crossing and passed through Nirmal Chandra Street, Raja Subodh Mullick Square and SN Banerjee Road to reach the destination. Senior Trinamool Congress leaders Firhad Hakim, Subrata Bakshi, Subrata Mukherjee, Amit Mitra, Sobhandeb Chatterjee and Sashi Panja led the march. As the rally progressed, more and more common people including small traders, labourers, auto and rickshaw pullers joined the procession.
Addressing the rally, Firhad Hakim said the arbitrary decision had affected all sections of people. The worst hit are the students who cannot pay examination and tuition fees, patients in healthcare institutions and parents of children whose marriage ceremony has been fixed along with owners of small eateries, retain traders, vegetable and fish vendors.
Hakim said he had recently visited Tata Memorial Centre in New Town and saw the hapless condition of the cancer patients. He said many cancer patients from Bangladesh who had come to the centre for treatment had told him that they had old high value notes which the hospital authorities refused to accept. He said he felt humiliated and small as an Indian when the relatives of the patients told him “Your Prime Minister has lost his mental balance and his insanity has affected thousands of people like us.” He said on November 8 when Modi announced the ban on old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, only Mamata Banerjee because of her foresight, had realised the problem that the common people would face and that is exactly what had happened.
Sobhandeb Chatterjee alleged that BJP had prior information of demonetisation and hence, party leaders could deposit Rs 3 crore in a bank a few days before the announcement was made.
Partha Chatterjee, TMC secretary general congratulated the people for joining the rally in such big numbers. He said even senior RBI and bank officials could not say when the situation would improve.
“The ordeal of common man is increasing every day and today (Wednesday) is the 14th day since demonetisation was announced and still long queues have been found in front of the banks and more than 90 per cent ATMs are shut. How can a Prime Minister take such a decision without carrying out any homework?” he wondered.