No ‘Bharat Bandh’, only protests: Congress

The Asian Age.

India, Politics

The Opposition parties had announced a nation wide protest on November 28.

Congress MP Jairam Ramesh (Photo: PTI)

New Delhi: The Congress on Sunday clarified that it has not called for a Bharat Bandh on the November 28. Instead it is a “jan aakrosh diwas” which will be observed across the country and will hold protests across the country against demonetisation, which it alleged “was a political move being sold as a fight against corruption”. Congress also claimed that BJP was spreading misinformation that Congress and other parties have called for a “Bharat bandh”.

The Opposition parties had announced a nation wide protest on November 28. The Congress will hold protests in almost all state capitals, including the national capital. Congress MP Jairam Ramesh said Prime Minister Narendra Modi believes in “dhamaka” politics and the decision to scrap high-value currency notes was taken because he had seen the “writing on the wall” in Uttar Pradesh, where polls are due next year. Mr Ramesh added that this entire exercise was being undertaken to take away from the failures of the Modi government in the last two and a half years.

Accusing the Prime Minister of making tall claims, Mr Ramesh said an action plan should have been readied and the shortcomings examined. He said it is estimated that only 5-10 per cent of black money is kept in cash, while most of it is in the form of gold, silver, benami property or stashed abroad.A lot of discomfiture had been caused to people by demonetising Rs 500 notes abruptly.

The BJP on Sunday voiced confidence that the protest called by certain Opposition parties will not be successful and said parties like Congress were already retreating and not calling it a “Bharat bandh”.

Union minister Babul Supriyo said “”It is quite evident that the country is united and with us on demonetisation. There are only a few parties who have supported the call for ‘Bharat bandh’. Those who were raising their voices earlier are also stepping back in fear now.” While Information and Broadcasting Minister M Venkaiha Naidu said “Congress is clearly rattled by certain transformational results...This is the clear reason for it being angry, Realising the popular support to remonetisation, it is now calling its countrywide bandh ‘akrosh’ rallies. From this, it is clear that all of this is aimed at finding some space in the media as it has clearly lost its space at the debating forum of Parliament and in the minds of the people.”

The parliament had seen a stormy scenes as the opposition demanded that the prime Minister be present and respond in both the houses of parliament on demonetisation.