Demonetisation protest: Cracks appear, Sharad Yadav springs a surprise on Opposition

This comes after Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s unequivocal support for the move and instructions to party cadre not to oppose it.

Written by Abantika Ghosh | New Delhi | Published:November 30, 2016 3:26 am
demonetisation, demonetisation protest, sharad yadav, JD(U), nitish kumar, bihar cm, mamata banerjee, cash crunch, indian express news, india news Janata Dal (United) leader and Rajya Sabha MP Sharad Yadav.

After having skipped the Opposition strategy meeting on two consecutive mornings, JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav surprised a hastily called afternoon meeting of Opposition leaders on Tuesday when he told them that JD(U) as a party has not yet decided that it is in favour of demonetisation.

This comes after Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s unequivocal support for the move and instructions to party cadre not to oppose it. Nitish replaced Sharad Yadav as the JD(U) chief earlier this year.

“I have been opposed to the move from day one… teen char din mein dekhiye kya hota hai [let us see how this pans out in the next three four days],” Sharad Yadav was quoted as telling the meeting that happened in the chamber of Ghulam Nabi Azad, Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha.

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Sharad Yadav was the tallest non-Trinamool leader to attend the sit-in protest of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee against demonetisation at Jantar Mantar last week.

Since then, however, Nitish has come out vocally in support of the move and Sharad Yadav’s absence on Monday had fuelled speculation that the picture of solidity of opposition unity had been dented by the JD(U)’s divergent line.

Nitish, who had been among the first non-BJP chief ministers to welcome demonetisation, is also among those chief ministers who are slated to be part of a sub-committee that the Centre is in the process of forming on demonetisation.

Sharad Yadav did not come for the strategy meeting Tuesday morning either but did attend a hurriedly convened meeting later in the day where he sought to allay fears that the Opposition ranks had been breached. He also assured them that he would attend the morning strategy meeting of Opposition parties Wednesday.

In the morning meeting, Opposition leaders discussed the need to be more visible and coordinated in their messaging to counter the government publicity machinery working overtime to make demonetisation seem more palatable.

It was decided that designated spokespersons from every party would go on television and print to highlight the negatives of the move and why the government’s pitch on black money is not correct.

It was also decided that all parties would coordinate their social media messaging by choosing common hashtags so as to present a united face. The hashtags have not been finalised yet.

Parties that attended the meeting included Congress, Trinamool, CPM, NCP and DMK. They decided to keep up the pressure on the government in Rajya Sabha by continuing to demand an apology from the prime minister and in the Lok Sabha by pressing for a discussion under a motion that allows voting. The BJD has already submitted a notice under rule 193 for discussion on demonetisation but the rule does not have a provision for voting.

Another issue that came up during the meeting was that of impromptu programmes organised by individual parties.

The immediate reason for the issue to be raised was a Congress protest that the Trinamool shunned on Monday citing lack of prior notice and an overlap with party chief Mamata Banerjee’s march in Kolkata against demonetisation. A decision was conveyed that no such last-minute protests or other programmes would be scheduled without taking other parties on board.

The Trinamool Congress, which is miffed with the proposed sub-committee of chief ministers, also expressed its opposition to it in the meeting saying this is not the face of the Opposition.

The names that have come up for the panel, besides Nitish, are those of Andhra Pradesh CM Chandrababu Naidu, Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Chouhan, Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik, Puducherry CM V Narayansamy and Tripura CM Manik Sarkar.

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  1. A
    Ashoke
    Dec 1, 2016 at 4:16 pm
    In Bangla, this demonetisation shall be named as ল্যাজে গোবরে। The condition of government is now akin to a 'cow's tail which is suffering from loose motion'.
    Reply
    1. A
      Ashoke
      Dec 1, 2016 at 2:45 pm
      The 'Black Money' converted in new ₹2000 note is now displaying its power to disintegrate all ethos.
      Reply
      1. B
        B A
        Nov 30, 2016 at 8:02 am
        Amith sab pl take the account details from Gali janrdan reddy and Sriramulu BJP MP FROM KARNATKHA
        Reply
        1. J
          jotsingh
          Nov 30, 2016 at 3:51 am
          All parties namely cong the looter, tmc ncp dmk, sp bsp aap ,nc are extremely corrupt .these parties looted us very badly . It is shame on the people and media who are supporting the anti social parties . No doubt so many medias are working against country , prominst is NDTV and some paper including HT,The indian express.SHAME ON YOU LOOTERS
          Reply
          1. M
            MUMU
            Dec 1, 2016 at 1:45 am
            Nitish's future has been finished, in next election, he will be kicked out of the JDU and he may join BJP as a 2nd rung leader.
            Reply
            1. C
              comet
              Dec 1, 2016 at 7:49 am
              opposition should sit down and relax, and say har har modi. janta will do the work of opposition if their problem is genuine
              Reply
              1. R
                rajan Karunakaran
                Nov 30, 2016 at 12:52 pm
                Unity of opposition is the need of time.
                Reply
                1. S
                  Sewa
                  Dec 1, 2016 at 2:10 am
                  8#enc#0d Itni mehnat agar logon ki sewa mein karte to yeh din nahi dekhne padte. C#uT1yon.
                  Reply
                  1. s
                    s.m.a.millath
                    Nov 30, 2016 at 4:25 am
                    BJP MPs and MLAs to submit account details to their Party President, congress to Rahul hi, SP to Mulayam, TMC to Mamata, AIDMK to Jayalaitha, DMK to Karunanidhi and so on and so forth. What a Joke! Sure the common man is a bloody fool.
                    Reply
                    1. S
                      ssn murthy
                      Nov 30, 2016 at 2:32 pm
                      Very few people accept this but almost all political parties know and cash it.
                      Reply
                      1. R
                        R.Sundarem
                        Nov 30, 2016 at 12:21 am
                        Playing Online Rummy in spare time or lunch etc to make money and surprising wife and others are all backwas ,people should not believe and resort to it by seeing lot of ads on this site.The Govt agencies or other Intel depts are keeping quiet one day they wake up and will make more noise so better now to keep away.
                        Reply
                        1. C
                          CongressMuktIndia
                          Dec 1, 2016 at 5:54 am
                          He is just an honest leader .. simply put
                          Reply
                          1. C
                            CongressMuktIndia
                            Dec 1, 2016 at 5:56 am
                            They should be united but to help people, initiating strikes etc at this point of time is not sensible. They should come up with constructive ideas to help people. Maybe the supporters of parties should help people in the long line by giving them food, water etc.
                            Reply
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