Mamata Banerjee takes fight against currency ban to streets, BJP on guard

Her powerful speech at a rally in Delhi’s Azadpur mandi organised by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal struck all the right notes.

Written by Kanishka Singh | New Delhi | Updated: November 17, 2016 6:05 pm
Mamata, who is popular with the masses, especially the poor sections in West Bengal, showed why she commands such a following. (PTI Photo)

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has taken the fight over demonetisation and currency ban to the masses. Her powerful speech at a rally in Delhi’s Azadpur mandi organised by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal struck all the right notes. Narendra Modi’s government is halfway into its tenure and the contentious demonetisation move seems risky to say the least. Mamata seems determined to keep up the fight and this may just be the start of a fever pitch campaign against this government if the troubles for the public continue.


Mamata, who is popular with the masses, especially the poor sections in West Bengal, showed why she commands such a following. She gave an emphatic speech at the vegetable wholesale hub which almost ran out of produce and customers. Mamata alleged that in times of cash crunch, no one bats an eye. She rightly pointed out that mandis are running on credit and farmers are not getting paid for their produce.

Till now, the opposition from people was scattered and wasn’t finding a strong voice. That voice also needed to come from the capital if it had to create any movement on the ground. Opposition’s demand of a probe by a Joint Parliamentary Committee was also not going to give any immediate relief as it will take a long time and at the moment a cash fillip is needed in the system.

The cash crunch has hit daily life badly. People have been queuing up outside ATMs and overburdened banks in hope of getting some paper cash to manage daily affairs. E-payments in a cash driven economy like ours are not proving to be effective as when seen in the context of the whole country, there is only a minute number of places where you can pay by card or online payments.

Critical needs like medicines and healthcare are out of reach of people in such times. Basic necessities like food are not affordable for even the rich. Failure and crashing payment gateways and e-payment servers has exposed the underprepared nature of the online payment infrastructure present in the country.

To control the damage, soon after Mamata finished her speech Jaitley announced that 22,500 ATMs will be recalibrated today. ATMs can’t dispense Rs 2,000 notes without physical recalibration and nearly 2 lakh ATMs in the country need recalibration. ATMs are only dispensing Rs 100 notes and due to high demand and shortage of currency, either the ATMs are running out of cash or are being shut down.

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Meanwhile, industry body Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) has estimated that business in the retail sector is down in the country by at least 50 per cent. Both big and small traders are hit. Also, the government on Thursday announced that the daily over-the-counter exchange limit will be reduced from Rs 4,500 to Rs 2,000. It also announced that the people holding a wedding card of a marriage in their immediate family can also withdraw Rs 2.5 lakh cash from their bank accounts.

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  1. P
    prakash gotimukul
    Nov 17, 2016 at 12:38 pm
    IE as usual is fooling n giving unfounded headlines. The fact is that all the corrupt hv come together and in last breath shivering before death. This one revolutionary step has increased the ground support in favour of this move which obviously goes to the BJP politically. SS is now sure to lose BMC by this one foolish move of joining the march. Mamata will start losing and will vanish in a couple of years. Kejri is reduced from a rat to a dirty fly. These leaders are anarchist and cannot think other than destructive ideas..................congress which has reached 44 is just abt to reach further down. One leg in grave politically and actually, they hv nothing but to lose further..............more increminating things will come out demolishing all the black deeds n black money n the Opp will have no face except to fall in line and deal with white money and keep visiting IT dept till thing permanent in all this is RICH ARE GOING TO SUFFER FOR EVER
    1. A
      Nov 17, 2016 at 12:09 pm
      I strong support Modi ji,I personally struggled a lot for this,but still happy the way Govt is doing.With me w Indian will seen New India after some days.This pain is nothing for me.For me my country is everything than my personal;br/gt;lt;br/gt;I request AK and Mamata Banerji and other who are against Govt, donot create any such incident.The more will create issue ,the more people will stand will Govt.As per latest survey 83.8% people with govt.So dear AK and Mamata Banerji W India knows u have lot of Black money.Again Modi will come power in 2019.
      1. A
        Nov 17, 2016 at 12:42 pm
        Madam did not say what President of India told. I think she looks very desperate and nervous.
        1. A
          Nov 17, 2016 at 12:39 pm
          She is an illiterate conservative lady without mind.
          1. C
            Chander Pal
            Nov 17, 2016 at 3:15 pm
            Didi please concentrate in areas you are good like chasing industry out of your State, getting people to buy your over priced, over hyped paintings. May be also make up your mind towards GST or to restrict the age old Bengali way of life called puja celebrations to show case your pro Muslim stance.
            1. I
              IML sood
              Nov 17, 2016 at 2:58 pm
              Nothing will help Mumtaz neither failed politician joker cheap minister of Delhi.Her protest in streets will be barking of lone frustrated and defeated dog barking where sometime stone him away.Nothing but wrong and by repotting by IE.
              1. M
                Nov 18, 2016 at 2:18 am
                All the witches will be igned to to the Witchdom!
                1. A
                  Agnimitra Kumari
                  Nov 18, 2016 at 8:45 am
                  TMC lost all the black money earned from Saradha scam. That's why they are so mad.
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