Mamata Banerjee and Arvind Kejriwal made a double bore attack on the government on Thursday, warning that there will be intense protests and unrest if it does not withdraw its ban on 500 and 1,000 rupee notes. They also visited the Reserve Bank of India to check on the progress of printing new notes, Mr Kejriwal said.
“Take back this decision in three days… Don’t test people’s patience. Otherwise, there will be a ‘bhagawat’ (revolt) by people,” said Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal at Delhi’s Azadpur Mandi, the country’s biggest wholesale hub.
He called the demonitisation the country’s “biggest scam since 1947.”
“Prime Minister Modi has broken constitutional rules…Why did not you (Modi) make a proper plan before the implementation (of demonetisation). The common man is suffering due to it. We are giving you three days. If you do not fix all problems, we will not leave you. We are still alive,” vowed Mamata Banerjee, who is West Bengal Chief Minister.
Together the leaders also visited the office of the Reserve Bank of India in the capital. “How much currency needed? How much printed? What is capacity? How many more days will it take? Me n Mamtadi at RBI to get this info,” Mr Kejriwal tweeted.
Ms Banerjee had led a march on Wednesday to petition the President against the notes ban, but Mr Kejriwal had not joined her protest because, said sources, he did not wish to share space with the Shiv Sena, which is an ally of the ruling BJP, but threw in its lot with Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress on this issue.
Mamata Banerjee’s party, the fourth largest in the Lok Sabha, is trying to also move an adjournment motion in the house on demonetisation, which entails a debate followed by a vote.
Both houses of parliament were adjourned on Thursday as opposition members raised slogans against the government on the notes ban. In the Rajya Sabha or upper house, they demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi respond to questions they have raised in a debate on the issue.
The government has refused to give in to that demand. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley this evening said “there is no question of a roll back” of the decision to abolish 500 and 1,000 rupee notes, aimed at ending black or untaxed money. He also ruled out the formation of a Joint Parliamentary Committee as demanded by the opposition.
At the public rally, Mr Kejriwal asked who was responsible for the death of 40 people who have reportedly died in incidents linked to the notes ban.
The sudden move to scrap high value notes has caused huge disruption to daily life with people standing in long queues for hours outside banks and ATMs.