Bharat Bandh: Opposition Continue to Protest, BJP Launch 'Jan Abhaar Divas'November 29, 2016 10:39
There has been huge confusion on whether there is call for a 'Bharat Bandh' or 'Jan Aakrosh Divas'. Opposition parties on Monday hit the streets across the country to protest against the scrapping of high-value notes.
While the Congress said that "there is no call for a strike and call was only for protests, the Left parties enforced a 12-hour bandh in West Bengal. It was, however, not supported by the ruling Trinamool Congress which is most vocal against the note ban."
Taking advantage of this confusion, BJP members also hit the markets, launching 'Jan Abhaar Divas'. On this day they expressed gratitude to people who ignored the strike.
At many places, BJP members offered sweets and flowers to traders, who did not close they shop or business. However, the 12-hour statewide strike called by the Left parties to protest demonetization failed. Partial response was seen in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. In Bihar workers of RJD, Congress and Left parties obstructed train services at many places. But all the offices and schools were working in their own manner.
In Kerala, the shutdown called by LDF on Monday was total. The protest hit the functioning of both the Houses of Karnataka Legislature, but the state continued to be normal.
In Delhi, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad clarified that the Opposition parties did not call for any strike, as it would cause trouble to people.
"We had called for Jan Akrosh Divas and not Bharat Bandh," he said.
He claimed that "lakhs of angry and anguished people participated in the protests. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee threatened to demonstrate outside Prime Minister Narendra Modi's residence against demonetization, vowing to dislodge him from the seat of power if the scrapping of high-value currency notes is not withdrawn."
"The entire country is suffering. There is no money in banks, ATMS. So far 80 people have died due to the hardships caused by demonetization. But Narendra Modi is having a sound sleep and giving lectures on taking the country towards the cashless economy," she told a rally in Kolkata.
Congress party chief spokesman Randeep Surjewala told a press conference that "the ruling alliance was not able to fathom the pain and anger of 125 crores."
More than 20,000 people held 'thalis' beating them and a march was organised by Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken in the evening from the Mandi House to Jantar Mantar.
Surjewala issued a list of demonetization rules and directives which have changed 105 times in the last 19 days. These rules pointed out how the entire country was left confused.
He said "entire informal sector comprising of 90% of India is in deep distress. There are only 2.4 crore credit card holders and 9 crore debit card holders in and many these are held in multiples by one person. As per the RBI figures of June 2016, there were 48 crore transactions worth Rs2293 crore through these cards. While mobile wallets have grown by 500%, after the demonetization, the amount transacted has been only Rs11, 000 crore, a miniscule figure compared to the cash withdrawn."
Not getting affected with the strike, Nandan Nilekani, head of previous UPA government's Aadhaar project has shown his support to the government's ban on high-value notes.
He said "while the credit for creating the Aadhaar system goes to the UPA government, Dr. Manmohan Singh, he was grateful to PM Modi for taking it forward. A lot will depend on the next three months. If they accelerate digitization... long-term, it will be a very good development."
Also Read: Nation Wide Shut Down; Opposition Parties Join Hands to Fight Note Ban
BY M. DIVYA SRI