Will PM resign if note ban situation doesn’t improve after 50 days? Oppn asks
A group of opposition parties including the Congress wondered on Tuesday if Prime Minister Narendra Modi would resign if a nationwide financial chaos following the recall of high-value didn’t normalise after the December 30 deadline set by him.Updated: Dec 28, 2016 01:47 IST
The Congress and seven opposition parties sought to know from Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday if he would resign in case the cash chaos over the government’s demonetisation exercise didn’t ease out after his December 30 deadline.
Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, who has been spearheading a campaign against demonetisation, was the first to demand Modi’s resignation at a joint press conference of the opposition parties in New Delhi.
“The PM had asked people to wait for 50 days on November 8. Only three days are left. Will you resign if things are not stable after 50 days?” the West Bengal chief minister asked.
She called the recall of 500- and 1,000-rupee notes a “mega scam” and “super emergency”, while Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi alleged that such an “arbitrary financial experiment” was not done even during Mao Zedong’s reign in China.
“If he doesn’t step down, we will put pressure on him to do so,” said Gandhi, continuing to target Modi over personal corruption, after alleging last week that the Prime Minister had accepted kickbacks from business houses, some during his tenure as chief minister of Gujarat.
“There are documents which suggest Modi has taken money. Why is he not getting these documents probed?”
He tried to buttress his demand for an investigation, recalling how BJP patriarch LK Advani resigned from the Lok Sabha after his name got embroiled in the 1991 hawala scam of the Jain brothers.
“Even Sheila Dikshit has said she wants a probe. If Sheila-ji can demand a probe, why can’t Modi?” he asked, pointing to the former Delhi chief minister’s comments that an inquiry should be conducted into documents that allegedly showed funds given to political leaders, including her.
Gandhi and Banerjee announced they would sketch a common minimum agenda to take on Modi, seeking to put up a united pitch after regional heavyweights such as Nitish Kumar’s JD(U), Sharad Pawar’s NCP, Samajwadi Party of Mulayam Singh Yadav and Mayawati’s BSP as well as the Left skipped the meet.
“Some parties will have some differences,” the Congress leader said.
“We are together. All opposition parties believe in democratic principles. I can sit with Mamata-ji even though I have a slight disagreement with her,” he said.
The BJP, which had earlier called Modi “as pure as the Ganga”, seized the opportunity to mock at the depleted turnout at the Opposition’s press meet.
Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the meet was Gandhi’s “flop show” and asked the Opposition that it should answer the 2G spectrum, Saradha deposit, and coal block allocation scams before attacking the Prime Minister.
“Every day we get this indication that Rahul Gandhi lacks maturity … Even today, we saw him make baseless and shameful allegations against the Prime Minister, which leaders sitting beside him did not repeat. That itself makes clear how serious his comments are,” he said.
Banerjee gave a call, especially to the Left, to join a united opposition protest against demonetisation.
For his part, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said efforts should be made to strengthen Opposition unity through proper coordination and consultation.