Opposition parties, including Congress, Left, TMC, AAP and JD(U), have planned to corner the Centre over demonetisation issue.
Lok Sabha was adjourned on Wednesday, the first day of the Winter Session after obituary references, but the debate on the government’s decision on demonetisation began in Rajya Sabha as the political class prepared to fight it out on the floor of the House.
In the Rajya Sabha, Opposition Congress tore into the government’s decision to ban big notes, stating the common man has suffered most due to this move.
Congress leader Anand Sharma said the move had held the common man of India ‘criminals’ as they have to line up in endless queues outside banks to take out their own money. “Why wasn’t the government better prepared to tackle the aftermath of demonetisation? Why were there no cash in banks? Why weren’t the ATMs recalibrated?”
Congress claimed the government had a list of those with black money in Swiss Banks and demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi reveal their names.
The government retaliated sharply, with BJP leader Piyush Goel stating this step was a celebration of honesty. He said the hardship faced by the people was temporary. “The people of the country are ready to suffer a little because they know this step has been taken by Narendra Modi to fight black money, corruption, drugs and terrorism,” he said.
He added: “Many are facing trouble due to demonetisation and we sympathise with them, but we will have to make sacrifices to eliminate black money. Despite this hardship, India is supporting PM Modi’s decision to demonetise big notes.”
There was, however, a clamour from the Opposition for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to attend the Rajya Sabha debate on demonetisation.
Prime Minister Modi had earlier made an appeal to the Opposition to have a ‘fruitful’ Winter Session of Parliament.
“In the Winter Session, a very positive discussion will happen and on all issues with contribution of all parties. In the last session, an important bill like GST was passed, it was a big step. I had thanked all parties then,” Modi said.
In the afternoon, West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee led her team and leaders of the Shiv Sena, Akali Dal, AAP and National Conference in a march to Rashtrapati Bhavan against demonetisation.
It is learnt several Opposition parties, including the Congress, are planning to bring adjournment motion on demonetisation in Lok Sabha on Wednesday.
The Winter Session of Parliament is expected to be a stormy one as the Opposition has planned to corner the government over the issue of demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 denomination notes.
Opposition parties, including the Congress, Left, TMC, AAP and the JD(U), have opposed the Centre’s move to declare the high value currency as illegal tender that has create unprecedented chaos among common people.
The opposition parties have also planned to pin the government down on a list of other issues, including surgical strikes on terror launch pads across the Line of Control, the unrest in Jammu and Kashmir, OROP and the plight of farmers.
Various parties have separately given adjournment notices in the Lok Sabha. They have also given notice for suspension of proceedings in the Rajya Sabha to discuss the issue and highlight the plight of the common man.
The government has also made it clear that it will not shy away from discussing any issue. Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged the opposition parties to put forth their arguments in a fruitful manner in order to ensure smooth passage of business during the session.