Demonetisation Day 8 | It has sparked a sort of constitutional crisis: Mamata
Thousands of people lined up hours before banks opened in towns and cities across the country, prompted by fears that ATMs would soon run dry.india Updated: Nov 16, 2016 18:14 IST
Chaotic scenes and serpentine queues continued outside banks and ATMs on Wednesday as people hustled to get valid currency notes to meet their daily expenses after the Centre demonetised the old high-denomination bills.
Incidents of cash robbery were reported in Assam and Kanpur, even as most of the ATMs ran out of cash within hours after being stocked and thousands were non-functional. There were also reports of bank servers facing technical glitches.
The winter session of Parliament began on Wednesday where the government and the Opposition debated over the demonetisation move in the Parliament. Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, after his brief appearance before a Bhiwandi court, was seen interacting with people outside ATMs in a Mumbai locality.
A week after the order was first released through a televised address by PM Modi, more and more people across the country are complaining about problems with regard to their daily basic needs as local stores have stopped lending goods and other essential items on credit.
Those exchanging recalled banknotes will haveindelible ink put on their finger from Wednesday to check the multiple cash withdrawals by the same people from the banks.
The government had allowed the exchange of old 500-and 1000-rupee notes worth up to Rs 4,500, but some people are exchanging currency beyond the limit at multiple banks. The inking idea is the same as the one used to prevent repeat voting.
A week into the surprise decisionby Prime Minister Narendra Modi to scrap high-value banknotes to fight black money and counterfeiting, queues outside ATMs and banks remain long and are more unruly.
The move has disrupted life. Over the week, elderly people have collapsed in queues, patients denied treatment and at least 23 deaths have been linked to panic over the crisis.
Here’s what happened during the day
• 3.00pm: Prime Minister of Mauritius Anerood Jugnauth supports PM Modi on demonetisation move, says “I am not an Indian, but what I personally think as a Prime Minister is that Modi has done the right thing. People will have some difficulty which will be temporary, but in the long run it will help the country’s economy.”
• 2.55pm: Mamata Banerjee says those with black money have been supported, but taxpayers are suffering. The situation arising out of demonetisation has triggered a sort of constitutional crisis.
• 2.40pm: Trinamool Congress will move an adjournment motion in the Lok Sabha: CM Banerjee
• 2.35pm: “The President was once the finance minister and so knows country’s situation better than anyone else. He will take appropriate action,” Banerjee said.
• 2.28pm: West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee after meeting with President Pranab Mukherjee, tells media: “Initially ATM used to mean ‘All time Money’. Now it is ‘Aayega tab milega’. We’ve requested the President to speak to the government and decide on the demonetisation and bring back normalcy in the country.”
National Conference leader Omar Abdullah, Shiv Sena lawmakers Anandrao Adsul and Arvind Sawant, Aam Aadmi Party MLA Bhagwant Mann and former union minister Sultan Ahmed accompanied Banerjee to meet the president.
• 2.20pm: Indelible ink bottles are being airlifted to all regions, tweets economic affairs secretary Shaktikanta Das.
• 2.00pm: Trinamool Congress leader and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee leads Opposition parties’ march to the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
• 1.55pm: Actor Nana Patekar speaks up on demonetisation, says “You’ve been bearing a lot for all these years. Can’t you tolerate this much pain for just 10-20 days?”
The actor, who is in Jammu to meet family of soldier Gurnam Singh who died in an infiltration bid in Kathua last month, asks Kashmiri youths to pick up books and return to mainstream.
• 1.45pm: Kolkata | Most ATMS in Dalhousie and BBD Bag – the business centre of Kolkata - are either shut down or had run out of cash by 8 am, locals say.
“I was in desperate need of money yesterday (Tuesday) and had to run from one ATM to another. But I failed to withdraw any cash as all the ATMs I had visited had run out of cash. I decided to come to BBD Bag early in the morning as it is not a residential area and hoped to find some cash. But here too the situation is same. Now I have no option but to stand in the bank queue,” said Barun Biswas, a resident of Bhowanipore in south Kolkata.
• 12.55pm: Rahul Gandhi talks to people queued outside an ATM in Mumbai’s Vakola.
• 12.35pm: Cricketer Virat Kohli says ‘really impressed’ by government’s demonetisation order. “It’s the greatest move that I’ve seen in Indian politics by far.”
“I had to pay my hotel bills, then realised I can’t after the demonetisation move. Later thought, I could have signed the notes for fans,” adds Kohli.
• 12.10pm: State Bank of India branches in New Delhi start applying the indelible ink on index finger of customers exchanging their currency.
• 12.04pm: Kanpur | About Rs 7.5 lakh cash stolen from a SBI ATM in Armapore area of Kanpur. Bank employees had filled the ATM with Rs 9.5 lakh cash, but only Rs 2 lakh was withdrawn. Rest was found missing when they again went for regilling on Tuesday evening, the police say.
• 11.59am: Mumbai | Rahul Mahyavanshi, a public relations employee, says lines have shrunk but banks’ problems remain the same. “Many people have withdrawn their bit so the lines are bound to get thin. But I don’t understand how banks are still running out of cash,” he said as he waited outside a bank in Borivali.
• 11.58am: Putting indelible ink has already started on Wednesday morning in 11 SBI branches in Delhi. The ink is being put on the right index finger of customers exchanging old bank notes for new currency: SBI
• 11.33am: Lucknow | Hundreds of people were standing in long queue hours before the bank would open.
Suhail Aziz, an electrician who left home at 7 am, says “I welcome the move of indelible ink mark for those who are exchanging notes.”
• 11.30am: We will raise this issue in parliament. You will notice money the he is acquiring from you will be used to fill pockets of industrialists, to those 15 businessmen who are running the government. I won’t name them but you know who they are. That’s why there is no investigation or action taken against Modi ji’s industrialists friends: Rahul Gandhi.
• 11.25am: Rahul Gandhi in Bhiwandi slams Modi government for currency switch move, says “Modi ji took the decision of demonetisation; you are now standing in the queue; have you seen any rich people standing there?”
“The government is talking freedom on one hand and slavery on the other. I’m happy to be facing and fighting all those who want every Indian to kneel before them: adds Rahul Gandhi who was in Bhiwandi to appear before a court in RSS defamation case.
• 11.02 am: One person dead and two injured after a cash van is attacked in Assam’s Tinsukia, reports ANI
• 11.01am: BSP chief Mayawati says her party is not agianst demonetisation but against the way it has been implemented, reports ANI.
• 10.42am: Trinamool Congress (TMC) members protest against demonetisation inside Parliament premises in Delhi.
• 10.34am: As the Parliament winter session kicks off, PM Narendra Modi tweets: “I’m sure we will have good debates on various issues, parties will present their views on issues. We will talk about people’s aspirations.”
“The Government believes in debating every issue in an open manner, as this sets the stage for very good decisions,” he adds
• 10.29am: Prime Minister Modi should realise the nation is in a crisis when even his mother is forced to stand in queue, Uttar Pradesh minister Ramgopal Yadav tells ANI. Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi standing in a queue to exchange currency is merely a ‘show-off’, says Yadav.
• 10.19am: People queue up to withdraw/exchange/deposit money even before banks open, in Gurgaon.
• 9.54am: Uttar Pradesh minister Azam Khan tells ANI, “Those coming to banks with black money should have their faces blackened, so they don’t come again, they won’t step out of house.”
- 8.43 am: The withdrawal limit is just Rs 2,000 while we need a minimum of Rs 5000. What to do? The season is coming: Apurva,a farmer from Guwahati tells ANI.
- 8.26 am: No one is accepting Rs 500 or Rs 1000 notes here so it’s a crisis like situation for us, not able to even recover shop rent, says a flower seller from Lucknow.
The opposition parties stuck to their stand, charging the government for “faulty implementation” of demonetisation — that has forced people to stand in long queues outside banks and ATMs to exchange old notes and withdraw fresh ones.