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Demonetisation: Only protest, no Bharat bandh, says Congress

Congress also criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cashless society slogan as a “ridiculous proposition”.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: November 28, 2016 1:19 am
demonetisation, demonetisation protests, demonetisation bandh, congress demonetisation, bharat bandh, congress bandh, india news, latest news, indian express Jairam Ramesh. (PTI File Photo)

The Congress on Sunday said it has not called for a Bharat bandh on Monday to protest withdrawal of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes and said the party was against such shutdown. The main Opposition party also criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cashless society slogan as a “ridiculous proposition”. The party said the decision to scrap big-denomination currency was a “political” move that is “being sold as a step against black money”.

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“The Prime Minister is talking about cashless society. Which world is he living in? Is he living in India? Cashless society can happen after 100 years, but the reality today is that our economy runs on cash,” senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said.

He said only 2 per cent of India’s population uses plastic money. “Our prime minister is a soundbite prime minister. Less cash to cashless — it sounds good on television. It is a good line, but the reality is different,” he said. “I don’t think India can become cashless in the next 15-20 years. It can be a long-term goal, but what is the reality. India cannot be a cashless society by force or by shock. There are a little over 2 lakh ATMs, 1.3 lakh branches…it will take time..”

He claimed that to get Indian economy back on track, “the government needs to create 1,200 crore in 500-rupee notes and for this, it will take 250 days”.

“Does the Prime Minister want to have a cashless mandi? Does the PM want to have the unorganised sector working cashless? I am sorry to say it’s a ridiculous proposition to say that India will become cashless and all these different sectors of the economy will become cashless,” he said.

Ramesh added that the BJP was spreading misinformation that the Opposition had called for a Bharat bandh Monday. “The Opposition parties will hold protests by observing Jan Aakrosh Diwas,” he said.

“We are against a bandh. We will extend all support to any protest movement, any protest campaign, any public procession. But we are not in favour of and we certainly have not called for a Bharat bandh. We don’t have to call a Bharat bandh because Bharat is already bandh from November 9 onwards. Narendra Modi has already shut down India. All economic activity has come to a halt..the rural areas, the agriculture sector, the unorganised sector, small and medium enterprises all have been closed down,” Ramesh said. He claimed that the decision to scrap high-denomination notes was a political move because the Prime Minister wanted to hide his government’s failures and since he believes in “dhamaka” approach to governance to change the narrative.

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  1. I
    Nov 28, 2016 at 1:14 am
    Lol. Good try congress
    1. C
      Chander Pal
      Nov 28, 2016 at 1:08 am
      Oh so nice of you. But then the bandh is certainly a non event so why loose face. It is so easy to disrupt parliament with just 40 odd pygmies.
      1. P
        Nov 28, 2016 at 9:27 am
        22 crores.. tell me which reform of congress made people come out of poverty... it was reforms by Vajpayee. It takes 2-3 years for anything to show up in a vast country like India. When China implemented reforms... there was no change in growth for 3 years but later gave double digit growth for 30 years. Present govt's reforms will lead to sustained growth in the future.
        1. A
          ashok s
          Nov 28, 2016 at 12:21 am
          Cingies can't afford bharat bandh as they no funds left to support such move. They don't have financial power to mobilize crowd
          1. A
            Nov 28, 2016 at 5:44 am
            Congress is a problem for our country. They are factor behind all corrupt practices , and now they are giving Bhashans , why they never try to stop printing of 500 and 1000 notes in their 10 years, and now they know that 85% of potion which is GAREEB,KISAN,MAZDOOR has to be be survive on small notes. They intentionally allowed BLACK MONEY to flow along with system because their motto is - SATAA SE PAISA, PAISE SE SATTA,
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