New Delhi: Hitting out at the Centre for its “failure” to restore money supply post-demonetisation, the Congress said that it will gherao Reserve Bank of India here and 25 of its offices across the country on Wednesday.
The gherao will be lead by senior party leaders, including AICC General Secretaries, CWC Members, PCC Presidents and CLP leaders, a party statement said. Deputy leader of the party in Rajya Sabha Anand Sharma will lead the protest in Delhi, while party’s chief spokesman Randeep Surjewala will do the same at the RBI headquarters in Mumbai.
Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) chief N Sanjiva Reddy will lead the protests in Kolkata, while former Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde would do so in Ahmedabad, the statement said. A decision in the matter was taken by the party at the ‘Jan Vedna Sammelan’ presided by party Vice President Rahul Gandhi here last week. In a statement, Surjrwala attacked the government for not lifting the weekly withdrawal restrictions of Rs 24,000.
“70 days have passed. The decision of the Modi government and RBI to not lift the weekly withdrawal restrictions of Rs 24,000 is a treachery with people of India,” he said. He insisted that “failure” to restore money supply has paralysed the economy leading to “massive loss of jobs and closure of businesses on an everyday basis”.
The Reserve Bank had yesterday doubled the daily ATM withdrawal limit to Rs 10,000 but retained the weekly ceiling at Rs 24,000 which bankers feel will be gradually relaxed. The Congress leader also criticised the central bank for not living upto its stature and “merely following the diktats of the Central government like a captive puppet.”
“RBI, instead of playing the role of an independent monetary regulator and a key denominator of economic growth, has become a mere post office following the diktats of Modi government like a captive puppet,” Surjewala lamented.
Destruction of autonomy and integrity of institutions essential to our democratic fabric has become a sine qua non for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “unitary” style of functioning, he alleged. Surjewala added that the need of the hour was to ensure complete restoration of money supply, a fixation of responsibility for the “mess” of demonetisation and lifting of restrictions on people to withdraw their hard earned money from their own bank accounts.