Mamata leads protest march against demonetisation move

NEW DELHI: Seeking immediate withdrawal of demonetisation exercise, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today met President Pranab Mukherjee along with leaders of National Conference, AAP and NDA ally Shiv Sena and submitted a memorandum voicing serious concern over the crisis arising out of ban on Rs 1000 and Rs 500 currency notes.
Banerjee led a march to Rashtrapati Bhavan from Parliament alongwith TMC MPs, AAP MP Bhagwant Mann, Shiv Sena MP Harshul, NC leader and former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah among others.
“We had a successful meeting with the President during which we discussed the issue. And the President said he would look into the matter,” she said, after emerging out of the Rashtrapati Bhawan.
She said the situation arising out of demonitisation has triggered a sort of constitutional crisis.
Speaking about her next move on the issue, she said “Our party will move adjournment motion in Lok Sabha”.
Expressing concern over the problems being faced by the people after the demonetisation move, she said “We have requested the President to speak to the government and decide on this and bring back normalcy in the country. President was once the Finance Minister and knows country’s situation better than anyone else, he will take appropriate action.”
Leaders of the other opposition parties including Congress, Left parties, SP and BSP did not took part in the protest march.
Describing as “dictatorial and draconian step” the government’s demonetisation move, the memorandum has sought its immediate suspension.
“Stop harassment of the common people by lifting of all sorts of restrictions recently thrust upon them,” the five-page memorandum said, and added “ensure that supply of essential commodities in adequate quantities be restored in the markets forthwith.”
Before beginning the march from Parliament, Mamata said “The march is to save common people from disaster.”
Mann said the ban has affected the normal functioning of the household as there is no money available.
However, the Shiv Sena differed on the issue and insisted the government to extend the deadline of accepting the old currency notes.
“We welcome the demonetisation move. But we are against the inconvenience caused to people due to it. We have not signed the memorandum (that will be presented to the President Pranab Mukherjee).
“We are going to submit a separate memorandum seeking redressal of the inconvenience caused to people. We also want the period to be extended,” said Gajanan Kirtikar of Shiv Sena who took part in the march.
Mamata also said “Those with black money have been supported, but taxpayers are suffering”, and added that the situation arising out of demonetisation has triggered a sort of constitutional crisis and financial emergency.
Seeking the intervention of the President in the “interest of common people to alleviate the untold suffering, helplessness and financial insecurity that they are facing now”, the memorandum said “withdraw this draconian demonetisation measure immediately.”
Pitching for a broader campaign against demonetisation, involving various political parties, Mamata yesterday met Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
Both the leaders discussed the crisis for about 40 minutes but Kejriwal reportedly expressed his reservation to come along with Shiv Sena on a same platform.
However, AAP MP Bhagwant Mann, suspended from Lok Sabha for uploading a video of Parliament premises on social media, participated in the march.
Mamata had approached other parties, including Congress and Left, to join the march against the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes, saying “common people are suffering because of it.”
However, Congress and Left though opposing the demonetisation move preferred not to join the rainbow platform created by Mamata against the government.
Undeterred by the absence of major political parties she marched ahead. (AGENCIES)

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