The Lok Sabha is likely to have a rocky start to the winter session on Thursday as the government and the Opposition lock horns over a move to scrap two high-value banknotes that has triggered chaos and confusion across India.
The Opposition parties have attacked the Centre for the move – aimed at stamping out illegal cash – and said the measure has hit the poor and the marginalized.
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi is expected to be at the forefront of the attack. “None of the Prime Minister’s industrialist friends are seen toiling in long queues outside banks or ATMs for cash…. Are you seeing any suit-boot person standing in line, these are just ordinary people,” Gandhi said.
The Congress V-P had taken everyone by surprise when he arrived at an SBI branch on Parliament Street in Delhi and stood in a queue to get the demonetised currency notes of Rs 4000 exchanged.
He repeated the act in Mumbai on Wednesday when made an unscheduled stop at an ATM in suburban Vakola and interacted with the people standing in the queue. Gandhi had also appealed to Congress workers last week to help people, especially senior citizens and poor, in filling up forms at banks and ATMs.
Gandhi also claimed that no action is being taken against the “real black marketers” and the “industrialist friends” of the Prime Minister.
“Those who are real black marketeers, those who have Rs 10,000-20,000 crore, those who go with Modi in planes, action should be taken against them,” he told reporters outside the Bhiwandi court in adjoining Thane district on Wednesday, after being granted bail in a defamation case.