Senior Congress leader and former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on Friday described as a “dangerous precedent” Prime Minister Narendra Modi decision to ‘deny’ permission to an all-party delegation from Kerala to discuss problems related to the demonetisation policy.
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“Never before in the history of independent India has the Prime Minister declined to meet the delegation of a state. Having served as Chief Minister yourself, I hope you can understand the gravity of this decision and the dangerous precedent it establishes,” he said in a letter to Modi.
He said the Kerala Legislative Assembly had unanimously resolved to send an all-party delegation to discuss problems related to the demonetisation policy.
“It is shocking that you have denied permission to this delegation, which not only amounts to an insult to the state of Kerala, but also to the federal structure of India enshrined in our Constitution,” he said.
The senior Congress leader also hit out at Modi, accusing him of evading a constructive discussion in both houses of Parliament on the demonetisation issue, “something that has been consistently demanded by all opposition parties for the past 16 days.”
“This undermines Parliament’s sovereignty and ignores the suffering and pain that demonetisation has caused the people of India,” Chandy said.
Noting that almost all political parties had welcomed the decision to demonetise Rs 500 and 1000 notes as an anti corruption measure, Chandy, however, said, “the ill conceived and hastily implemented policy has plunged the common man’s life abruptly into abysses for no fault of theirs.”
Chandy also drew the Prime Minister’s attention to the ‘crisis’ Kerala’s co-operative sector is undergoing as a result of restrictions imposed by RBI in the context of demonetisation.
He said the restrictions on withdrawal of cash from co-operative banks has crippled the co-operative sector and brought it to a grinding halt.
He said the sector, which accounts for over Rs 1,30,000 crore of total deposits in Kerala, plays a crucial role in sustaining the state, especially the rural economy.
Chandy said that all parties in Kerala, except BJP, had passed a resolution in the assembly, requesting the union government to ease the restrictions so that the co-operative sector can tide over the present crisis.
“I take this opportunity to appeal to your good self to direct the RBI to do the needful at the earliest,”Chandy said in the letter.
He said the Prime Minister should take Parliament and all state governments into confidence to evolve holistic strategies to solve this crisis.