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A black day: Opposition

A black day: Opposition
Highlights

The Congress-led opposition observed the first anniversary of demonetisation as -'black day-' with street protests on Wednesday. The Congress-led the...

New Delhi: The Congress-led opposition observed the first anniversary of demonetisation as "black day" with street protests on Wednesday. The Congress-led the opposition charge, calling it a tragedy in which millions had suffered. Key BJP ally Shiv Sena also joined the protests.

The opposition parties were unimpressed with the Modi’s stand on demonetization when the leaders like Congress's Rahul Gandhi and P Chidambaram, Trinamool Congress's Mamata Banerjee, RJD's Lalu Yadav and Left leaders argued that it had actually helped convert black money into white. The Congress and the Left parties held demonstrations across the country, while the RJD organised rallies in Bihar, and the Trinamool Congress in West Bengal.

Congress vice president Gandhi used multiple platforms to slam the exercise. He wrote a signed article in the UK's Financial Times, took to Twitter and met a cross-section of people in Surat, poll-bound Gujarat's "diamond city".

"Modi's reforms have robbed India of its economic prowess," he alleged in the Financial Times and said demonetisation had wiped out 2 per cent of the GDP and "ruined" the lives of millions of workers. RJD chief Lalu Yadav questioned the rationale behind the note ban, saying the move served the purpose of "converting black money into white with greater ease".

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who described demonetisation as "DeMoDisaster" and turned her Twitter display picture black, agreed with him. "Demonetisation was not to combat black money. It was only to convert black money into white money for vested interests of the political party in power (sic)," she alleged.

The DMK joined in, with working president M K Stalin saying in Madurai that November 8 was a day that brought despair to 125 crore Indians. "We got freedom in midnight (in 1947). But, we have lost our freedom in the midnight," he said in an apparent reference to Modi's announcement on the evening of November 8 last year.

The Left parties, which took to the streets, said for the first time in India's history, a government was "celebrating" death and suffering. Shiv Sena performed a 'shradh' or post-death rites at Ramkund, a sacred bathing ghat on the Godavari, in Nashik, in front of enlarged pictures of the scrapped notes.

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