Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray trained his guns once again at the Centre over how the ban on high-value notes was impacting the common man, saying it was unfortunate the people’s voice was not being heard in Parliament.
Thackeray made it clear the Sena had not softened its stance over its objection to how the demonetisation decision was implemented and indicated his party would step up opposition if the woes of common citizens continued even after the December 30 deadline laid down by the PM.
Thackeray was speaking at a press conference in Delhi, before meeting Union finance minister Arun Jaitley. A day earlier, Thackeray met Rajnath Singh, who was unhappy that the Sena joined protests led by West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee. “It is unfortunate people’s voice is not getting heard in Parliament. And, standing in queues is being equated with patriotism. This is nothing but making a mockery of patriotism,’’ said Thackeray.
He also challenged the Centre to make its position clear on whether farmers will be made to pay taxes.
“For so long, farmers have not been taxed. Now, suddenly you ask them to put all their money in the bank, which you can regard as black money and then, on top of it, there are restrictions on withdrawing that money. Co-operative banks that most farmers do business through have not been injected with any cash.’’
The Sena chief, however, did not spell out which side his party would be on if discussions are held in the Lok Sabha, only saying his “party will remain with the people’’. At the meeting with Jaitley, Thackeray discussed lifting curbs on co-operative banks. Thackeray’s decision to independently meet Jaitley, even as CM Devendra Fadnavis took a delegation from all parties, including the Sena, to meet Jaitley later on Thursday, is a sign his party wants to keep its identity separate — with an eye on the local polls in the state next year.
Congress legislators protests over demonetisation
The state Assembly on Thursday saw an uproar over the Narendra Modi government’s move to scrap old Rs500 and Rs1,000 banknotes, with Congress and NCP members shouting slogans.
The move, said the protesting lawmakers, has inconvenienced people from all walks of life across the state, even a month after the decision was announced.
Senior Congress member and former CM Prithviraj Chavan raised the issue after question hour. He said the notes ban was a monumental mismanagement by the BJP-led government at the Centre.
Chavan pointed out that toll plaza operators in the state were demanding Rs125 crore as compensation for having allowed vehicles to pass free of cost for four weeks. He said if the government concedes to these demands, how would it compensate the people of the state, particularly the poor, tribals and farmers who have been hit worst by a cash crunch in the harvesting season .
The UP government has announced Rs 2 lakh compensation to the next of kin of those who lost lives standing in ATM queue or depositing money after the government’s decision. “Will the state come out with a similar plan?”
The chair, however, rejected the move, resulting in Opposition members rushing to the well of the house and shouting slogans.
Earlier, Prithiviraj Chavan and Narayan Rane (both Congress) took out a morcha from the main gate of the Vidhan Bhawan to the main entrance. Carrying placards against demonetization and denouncing Modi government’s decision of scraping the high value old currency notes.