Mamata Banerjee and Arvind Kejriwal denounced the Narendra Modi-led Centre in fiery speeches at a protest rally in Azadpur Mandi, Delhi on Thursday. Both leaders targeted the government for its decision to withdraw currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 from circulation. They threatened to intensify their agitation if the government did not roll-back its decision to discontinue old currency notes in three days.
Daring the government to send those protesting against the move to jail, Banerjee said the fight will continue till the move was scrapped. “If you have courage, send us to jail or shoot us…But we will continue fighting,” she said. Accusing the government of trying to sell the country, Banerjee called the prevailing situation worse than the 1975 emergency. “They want to sell this country. They are trying to break the constitution. We cannot allow that,” the TMC chief said at the rally.
Kejriwal, speaking after Banerjee, took on Prime Minister Narendra Modi directly and accused him of helping liquor baron Vijay Mallya flee the country. He said while common people are standing in queues outside banks and ATMs, Mallya was enjoying in London.
The Delhi chief minister also assailed the government over the number of deaths of people while trying to exchange old currency notes. “Marriages are being broken and people are killing themselves…Who is responsible for their deaths?” Kejriwal thundered into the microphone.
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On Wednesday, Banerjee had led a rainbow delegation of opposition party leaders to Rashtrapati Bhavan in protest against the demonetisation move. She submitted a memorandum to President Pranaba Mukherjee and sought his intervention on the issue. TMC MPs will move an adjournment motion in the House on Thursday, Banerjee said. Kejriwal, however, skipped the protest march as he did not want to be seen with the Shiv Sena, sources told The Indian Express. Kejriwal did send his representative, with suspended Punjab MP Bhagwant Mann joining the march.