To Attack Notes Ban, Mamata Banerjee Dials All Parties- Including Left

NEW DELHI:  Two days before the Winter Session begins, the Congress and Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress will meet today as the opposition unites to take on the government in Parliament over the demonetisation of 500 and 1,000 rupee notes.

The Trinamool Congress is leading a move to consolidate opposition parties to petition the President against the government’s decision and demand that it be revoked. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s party has submitted a notice in the Rajya Sabha or Upper House that all other work be suspended to discuss demonetisation on Wednesday when parliament convenes.

The opposition parties plan to attack the government over the hardships faced by common people because of a cash crunch since Prime Minister Narendra Modi suddenly pulled 500 and 1,000 rupee notes in an evening announcement on November 8.

There has been chaos and anger as currency notes have been rationed in new rules, leading to long lines at banks and ATMs and opposition parties have accused the government of being “anti-poor” and pro-black money hoarders.

The government is in a minority in the Rajya Sabha and Mamata Banerjee hopes to bring together parties with significant numbers in the house to her side. Apart from talks with the Congress, she has suspended her anti-pathy for the Left to reach out to it for opposition unity. It is yet to respond.

The ruling BJP’s parliamentary executive too will meet today to formulate a counter strategy, before meeting allies in the National Democratic Alliance. The party faces potential trouble from allies like the Shiv Sena, which has criticized the move and the Shiromani Akali Dal, with the demonetization impacting election funding just ahead of assembly elections in Punjab.

The government is firm that its demonetization decision is pro-poor and designed only to punish those who have black or untaxed money. In an emotional speech on Sunday in Goa, PM Modi choked as he vowed to continue his fight against the corrupt even at a risk to his life and asked people to give him 50 days to iron out the chinks in the implementation of the government’s demonetisation scheme.

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