With common citizens continuing to face hardships following the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes, political parties readying for elections to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) are assessing public sentiments afresh through internal surveys. BJP city unit leaders said two different surveys are being conducted to assess the impact of the demonetisation.
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“One survey shows the middle-class and lower middle-class seem to be extremely happy with the decision. Though they are facing hardships, they know it is for a better future of their children. The upper class also seem to be happy at least on the face of it,” said a BJP functionary, adding that many see the move as a strong step towards wiping out black money.
The second survey is for political purposes and its results would be used for the civic polls, said the leader. “The second survey is about sector-wise governance-related survey, which indicates that real estate prices are likely to fall and many unorganised sectors may vanish and new organised sectors may be formed. We are also assessing the impact of demonetisation on the farm sector, rural areas, on the agriculture produce market committees with others. Following its findings, the government will take the necessary corrective measures,” said the leader.
Congress leaders said the party plans to carry out a telephonic survey to assess public mood in the aftermath of demonetisation. “We have a proposal to carry out the telephonic survey. But we are not dependent on it, as we get feedback directly from the people. From tomorrow, we are organising the ‘note pe charcha’ outside banks. This decision has badly affected the Gujarati, Marwari and north Indian communities,” said Sanjay Nirupam, president of the Mumbai Congress.
The Shiv Sena, BJP’s alliance partner in the BMC and state government, has been criticising the government for its lack of preparedness, which has resulted in people being inconvenienced. Simultaneously, the Sena is also attempting to woo the community of traders, which has always backed the BJP. On Sunday, a delegation of traders met Sena president Uddhav Thackeray stating that their businesses have stalled owing to the demonetisation move.
“We get to know through people’s experiences about issues and take a stand on it. The party leadership has already taken a stand, saying though the move is welcome, appropriate arrangements were not made,” said Neelam Gorhe, Sena spokesperson. While the NCP said it is assessing the impact through its leaders, the MNS said there is no need for a survey as the decision has taken many lives.
“The BJP should have carried out the survey prior to the decision and not when the people are suffering,” said Sandeep Deshpande, MNS corporator.