Thousands of Trinamool Congress workers on Thursday took part in rallies that were held in every district to protest against the hasty and arbitrary decision to demonetise high value notes that has caused untold misery to common people.
Trinamool workers will hold rallies in all the 341 blocks in the state on Friday. On November 28, a mammoth rally will be held from College Square to Esplanade where Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will participate.
Mayor Sovan Chatterjee who led the rally in South 24 Parganas said due to the hasty decision, lakhs of poor people all over the state and in the country were facing problems. “It is unfortunate that the decision to ban high value notes was taken without any prior homework and the RBI is changing its decision every day. More than two weeks have passed and there is no sign of stability” he said.
He maintained that all development works have come to a halt due to the draconian decision. “No one knows when the situation will improve,” he remarked.
In North Bengal the rally at Siliguri was led by state Tourism minister Goutam Deb. He said because of the decision, hundreds of trucks loaded with various goods have been stranded at the Indo-Nepal border.
“There is acute shortage of Rs 500 notes and Rs 100 notes. Those who are getting Rs 2,000 notes are running from the pillar to post to get change,” Deb said.
Meanwhile, the ordeal of the common people entered the 15th day on Thursday.
It was on the night of November 8 that Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced ban on Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes. More than 80 per cent ATMs in the city were running without cash and long queues were seen in front of ATMs where cash was available. In some ATMs, only Rs 2,000 notes were available. Long queues were also seen in front of nationalised and private banks and the average time taken to withdraw money by depositing self cheques is one and half hour.
Queues were also seen in front of banks from around 9 am, one hour before the banking hour starts. The customers who stood in the queue alleged that the banks were closing shutters without giving any prior intimation on the plea that they were running out of cash.
They further alleged that in some branches, some bank employees in connivance with black money hoarders were exchanging old notes and this was the reason why the branches were running out of cash. However, senior bank officials refuted the allegation and said this was an attempt to malign the “sincerity and dedication of the staff.”