Jammu, Nov. 16
The start of Winter Session of Parliament today saw heated debate over demonetization of Rs.500 and Rs.1000 currency bills and restrictions on exchange and withdrawals with opposition scathingly attacked ruling party for putting common man to “worst ever hardships”
Congress’ Deputy leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Anand Sharma tore into the government on the issue.
Sharma questioned the demonetization but vouched his party’s support in the fight against black money and corruption. He highlighted the plight of the common man who has to stand in queues for hours to get access to his own money.
Sharma lashed out at the Prime Minister for calling the poor people who are queueing up for days, criminals and scamsters.
“In his speech in Goa, Prime Minister Narendra Modi called the poor people criminals and scamsters. He should apologise for his comment,” lashed out the Deputy Congress Leader of the House, Anand Sharma.
Sharma also highlighted and criticised another of PM Modi’s statement.
“If PM Modi says that he is being threatened, the country should know who wants to kill him,” questioned Sharma.
PM Modi in an emotional speech in Goa had said that he was risking his life to flush out black money from the economy.
Sharma also raked up the rally PM Modi had in Ghazipur earlier this week.
“Was the payment for the Ghazipur rally made in cheques and credit card?” attacked Sharma.
He turned the House’s attention to BJP leader and mining baron Gali Janardhana Reddy’s daughter’s wedding where he is reported to be spending ₹ 500 crores.
“Their (BJP) leader is spending ₹500 crores on a wedding and they want to fight black money,” mocked Sharma.
Sharma also alleged that the information about demonetisation was secretively leaked.
“BJP units have deposited crores,” alleged Sharma.
While applauding and justifying PM Modi’s move to demonetize currency, Piyush Goyal in his reply said said, “Today the entire country is welcoming Prime Minster’s move.”
“ For the first time in this country, the honest have been awarded and the dishonest people have been punished,” added Goyal.
He also countered Congress’ allegation that the information was secretively leaked.
On the inconvenience being faced by the people, Goyal argued that the “people are willing to undergo difficulty for a few days” for the larger good. The move has “protected the honest man’s money…it will end up inducing honesty among people” explained Goyal.
“I am confident that public is understanding the initial problems because the decision was kept a secret. No honest tax-payer will lose a single rupee. The loss will be of those who have amassed wealth through corruption and black money and the public should also support the government in the move,” Goyal assured the House.
The Government in its defence also denied playing politics on the matter as alleged by the Opposition.
“There is no politics in it. It is a step taken in national interest…If anyone has the strength to take on black money and corruption, it is the BJP government and Narendra Modi,” said Goyal.
Goyal said some pain and difficulty in the implementation of such a decision is inevitable but despite that the people have strongly supported the move.
Outside the Parliament West Bengal Chief Minister Mamta Banerjee led a protest march to the Rashtrapathi Bhavan, seeking President Pranab Mukherjee’s intervention over the Modi government’s move to scrap old tender. Banerjee lead a small group of opposition leaders, including J-K’s Omar Abdullah, and briefed the President over the inconvenience being faced by the public. “We asked for the intervention of the President. Even he has served as finance minister in the past and knows the situation very well,” she said.
Training his guns on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday demanded action against his friends and those who are hoarding black money.
Addressing a large group of Congress activists in Bhiwandi, he alleged that in the past couple of years, Modi has waived off over Rs 110,000 crore of loans to a handful of 15 industrialists, with whose help the country is being run.
“Now, through demonetisation, he has taken money from each citizens’ pockets to give it to these industrialists who are his friends no action has been taken against them we demand action against Modi’s friends and those who have hoarded black money,” Gandhi said.
He predicted that the money collected from the public after demonetisation of Rs 500 and 1000 currency notes, would go back to the pockets of those 15-20 industrialists and others “within one year”.