Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi will embark on a nationwide tour against Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s demonetisation move, immediately after the winter session of Parliament ends on Friday.
The assessment within the Congress is that the note ban will hit the BJP hard as the people continue to face “severe hardships” due to cash crunch, more than a month after Modi announced the decision on November 8.
Congress managers are of the view that Modi and the BJP will not only face the “wrath” of the people in poll-bound states but other parts of the country as well, evident from the long and seemingly unending queues outside banks and ATMs.
At a party meeting on Wednesday evening, MP Shashi Tharoor asked Gandhi if he could share the information about “personal corruption” of the PM to enable them to go all out against Modi. Gandhi responded by saying that he would do so at the “appropriate” forum, which is Parliament.
“If that does not happen, then we will explore alternative options,” the Congress V-P said.
Though Gandhi will primarily focus on poll-bound states, he will also take the fight over demonetisation to people across the country.
As part of the plan, the Congress vice-president will start the first leg of his tour with a public meeting at Fatorda, Margao, in Goa on December 16, the day the winter session of Parliament is scheduled to end. From Goa, Gandhi will travel to Belagavi in Karnataka on December 17.
While he will address two public meetings in Uttar Pradesh at Jaunpur on December 19 and Bahraich on December 22, a rally has been planned at Mehsana in the Prime Minister’s home state of Gujarat on December 21.
Uttar Pradesh and Goa are scheduled to go to polls along with Punjab, Uttarakhand and Manipur in February-March next year.
“Rahul Gandhi will reflect on the pain and anguish of the people. He will highlight why people are not permitted to withdraw their own hard earned money,” Congress’ chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said.
“Are all those standing in bank and ATM queues black money hoarders as projected by the PM, his ministers and BJP chief ministers?” he asked. Gandhi has been at the forefront of attacks on the Prime Minister over the scrapping of `1,000 and `500 currency notes.
On Wednesday, Gandhi addressed a news conference as the “leader and speaker” of the Opposition parties that comprised the Trinamool Congress and the Left, the two bitter rivals in West Bengal. The Congress plans to step up the accelerator after assessing the ground situation in the first week of January, given that the Prime Minister has set a deadline of 50 days for normalcy to return following the note ban.
At Gandhi’s meeting with senior party functionaries and MPs, it was decided that Congress workers and leaders will fan out across the country and speak against the move. The Congress is keen to tap the people’s anger by “highlighting” the alleged deaths — it claims that more than 100 people have died — and the “sufferings” of the people due to the PM’s note ban decision.