The first day of the Parliament’s Winter Session witnessed the Congress-led Opposition attacking the Narendra Modi-led NDA government over its decision to ban old currency notes of Rs. 500 and 1000, and demanding an immediate rollback. Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that his government is ready for any debate on the demonetisation issue, while seeking support of the Opposition in the ‘best interest of the nation’.
Launching a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Opposition parties on Wednesday alleged selective leak of information on demonetisation of 500 and 1000 rupee notes to ‘friends of BJP’ and demanded making public the names of those who had bought gold and foreign exchange of over Rs. one crore since April.
Initiating a debate after listed business was suspended to take up a discussion on the November 8 decision to withdraw old higher denomination currency, Anand Sharma (Congress) used wit and humour to attack Modi for being insensitive to problems caused to the common man.
Alleging that the information on demonetisation was selectively leaked, he said, “your BJP units have deposited crores (just before the November 8 decision).”
Congress leader Sharma led the Opposition’s charge, asking Centre why ‘were all Indians being criminalised’ by the move.
“86% of the currency in the markets was 500/1000 notes, was scrapped by just one announcement. Was it all black?,” Sharma asked the House.
BJP hit back at Congress for criticising demonetisation and said despite facing hardships the common man in India was lauding the government’s ‘surgical strike’ against black money.
As the debate was in progress, BSP chief Mayawati demanded the presence of the Prime Minister in the House to hear out the Opposition parties and address their concerns. Supporting her, Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said since Lok Sabha has adjourned for the day, Modi should hear out at least the major parties.
Defending PM Modi and his decision of demonetization of Rs. 500 and 1000, Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said, “PM Modi has political will and intention. The entire nation is happy with the step. No one has ever questioned Narendra Modi’s intention. Across the world, the step taken by the BJP government is being hailed as a strong, decisive and a good step. Except you (Congress) who keeps oscillating between supporting the move and criticising it, more or less everyone is happy with the move. As far as difficulties are concerned, child birth is not easy at all. But once the child is born, the mother’s happiness knows no bound.”