Marking a complete U-turn in their stance on demonetisation, a delegation of Shiv Sena MPs on Tuesday met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and lauded the move as “a bold and historic decision” and assured of their full support.
The MPs, who called on the Prime Minister in his Parliament House office, stated that they are with the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA).
“Our MPs had a good meeting with the Prime Minister. The delegation assured him that we are all in the NDA,” a senior party leader told IANS here.
“Nothing much or politically significant should be read in the Sena participating in the march to Rashtrapati Bhavan with Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee,” he added.
However, the delegation led by the party’s floor leader in Rajya Sabha, Sanjay Raut, urged the Prime Minister “to make judicious use of the dense network of cooperative banks and allow them to participate in the demonetisation drive”.
According to sources, during the meeting, Modi also recalled the BJP’s long association with the Shiv Sena.
In fact the Shiv Sena, once a regional outfit in Maharashtra, has been the first ally of BJP since the late 1980s.
The two-page memorandum submitted to the Prime Minister, however, said that the “on-ground situation” in the last 13 days -- since the announcement to ban high denomination currencies -- has become “alarming”.
The letter signed, among others, by Sanjay Raut and party MPs like Anandrao Adsul (deputy leader of Sena in Lok Sabha), Chandrakant Khaire and Arvind Sawat, pointed out that as per the government directives, the rural and cooperative banks and credit societies are not eligible to handle currency exchange transactions.
“A large section of our population, who don’t have accounts in nationalised banks, has been put in a precarious situation after this move,” the letter said.
The Sena also demanded that the banned notes collected by various institutions in the cooperative sector in Maharashtra since demonetisation “be accepted by the nationalised banks”.