In a show of strength, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee rallied four parties behind her with a demonstration against demonetisation and attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying the government must go because the country was not safe in his hands.
Flanked by leaders of SP, JD-U, NCP and AAP, Banerjee addressed a gathering at Jantar Mantar where she alleged the BJP dispensation had lost all its “credentials and credibility” because of the currency restrictions.
“This government will have to go…I am sorry to say, the country is not secure under you Modiji. You do things at your whims and fancies,” she said.
Banerjee alleged that abolition of high-value currency notes had heaped pain on people and snatched away democratic rights of almost every section of the society including farmers, youth, women, labourers and traders, besides halting the country’s economic growth.
Accusing the BJP-led dispensation of “looting” the common man, she wondered why those having Swiss bank accounts were “not touched at all”, and warned that people will teach a “good lesson” to the ruling party in the upcoming assembly polls for implementing a “black law”.
“I can challenge that no one will vote for BJP. If I were you (PM), I would have apologised to the public. Why you are so egoistic? You have branded everyone in the country a black marketeer and have yourself turned into a saint ,” she said.
Hitting out at Modi, she wondered whether the government led by him has become more arrogant than even Hitler, asking why it did not hold consultations before enacting the measure.
In his address, JD-U leader Sharad Yadav questioned the legality of the demonetisation exercise and challenged the Prime Minister to explain to the Parliament how the decision will benefit the country.
“Under which law have you enforced this measure? You are stopping a person from withdrawing his hard-earned money which is his fundamental right. Demonetisation has destroyed the business of small traders. Come to Parliament and explain the logic as to how it will curb black money,” Yadav said.
The presence of Yadav at the protest assumes significance as Bihar Chief Minister and JD-U chief Nitish Kumar continues to support the measure. The protest was also addressed by SP’s Dharmendra Yadav, AAP’s Raghav Chadha and NCP’s Majid Memon.
The West Bengal Chief Minister also lashed out at a group of people who were shouting pro-Modi slogans, alleging that they were sent to disrupt her public meeting and wondered what the police and administration were doing.
Referring to yesterday’s bypoll results, the TMC chief said BJP’s victory margins have come down significantly in Madhya Pradesh and that Modi has left the country in the lurch (Modiji ne desh ka barah baja diya).”
She said she will support a country-wide protest called by the Opposition parties on November 28 against demonetisation.
Referring to the Prime Minister’s assertion that more steps to curb black money will follow, she also expressed apprehension that government may aim to get hold of the gold, land and other properties of common man.
“This is not a fight for political gains. People in my state are suffering. People across the country are suffering Where should they go? This fight is for the rights of the poor and the downtrodden,” she said.