NEW DELHI: Opposition parties today came together to protest against demonetisation outside Parliament, with Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi describing it as the world’s “biggest impromptu financial experiment” and said they are firm on their demand for a Joint Parliamentary Committee probe into the “scam”.
With a united opposition protesting and almost 200 MPs from various parties participating in the discussion, the Prime Minister should explain in Parliament why he took such a decision and why he “leaked” the decision to his industrialist friends and BJP leaders, he said.
“What the PM has done is the biggest impromptu financial experiment in the world. He did not ask anyone. Finance Minister did not know. The Chief economic adviser did not know. This decision is not that of Finance Minister. This is the Prime Minister’s decision.”
“Prime Minister can give lectures to pop concert where ‘naach gaana’ is going on. 200 MPs are saying they want to tell the nation why he took this decision. PM does not want to come to Parliament. Why is PM afraid of going inside? He is obviously anxious about something,” Mr Gandhi said.
Opposition lawmakers including those of Congress, SP, BSP, TMC, DMK, CPI, CPI(M) among others were outside Parliament near the Mahatma Gandhi Statue protesting the demonetisation.
“Our demand is that PM represents the country and he should come to Parliament and sit through the entire debate and hear us out and the other opposition leaders.”
“We feel there is a scam behind this decision. We feel he informed his own people before and the opposition is firm that it wants a JPC,” Mr Gandhi said.
Rahul Gandhi said a cent percent united opposition was standing outside Parliament and the entire opposition is united, over 200 MPs are standing and the Prime Minister should tell why he has taken this decision.
He said all opposition parties, the Congress party and everybody is for fighting corruption and black money.
The question is, Mr Gandhi said, why have one billion people been “harassed” in this manner. “That’s the question. It is a question of complete centralisation of power. I have been saying that the country cannot be run in this manner.
“You have hit the economy, which was running fine. But it is not running the way it was running during UPA, but it was somehow running. You have hit it hard,” he said.
He added that the decision has hit the fishermen in Bengal and Kerala and other places, it has finished farmers, labourers.
“Is there any suited-booted person standing in the line or any BJP MLA, MP in the line. Don’t they not need money,” he said attacking the government.
He said Parliament should condole the death of people who died standing in queues outside banks and ATMs.
“It is shame there is no time to condole the death of those who died in the queue. First day there was a condolence but these people’s names were not mentioned.”
Asked about Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s comment that the Congress should make up its mind about whether or not BJP leadership knew of the decision in advance, Mr Gandhi alleged, “Ahead of this decision, bank deposits surged drastically. BJP’s organization in Bengal and other states knew of it. FM did not know but the BJP organization knew. BJP’s industrialist friends knew.”
Asked who is leading the protest, Rahul Gandhi said poor people’s voice is leading this protest and MPs are representing that voice.