Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday, for the second time in a month, sought the intervention of President Pranab Mukherjee in the demonetisation issue.
Equating Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Hitler, Ms Banerjee said the “autocratic” move to demonetise Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 currency notes has ruined farmers, daily wagers and small traders.
“Because of this Tughlaqi (autocratic) decision, the entire country is suffering. From tea garden workers to daily wagers and small traders, all have come to the street. People are starving because of this,” said Ms Banerjee, who heads the Trinamool Congress, after meeting the President.
She said since the November 8 announcement, demonetisation has led to a loss of several lakh crores of rupees to the GDP. “In the last 15 days, the GDP has suffered loss to the tune of several lakh crores of rupees and if this continues, it will soon be in the negative,” she said.
Ms Banerjee also flayed the Modi government for its inability to bring back the black money stashed in foreign tax havens.
“This government could not bring a single rupee of black money from Swiss banks but is now looting the legitimate money of the poor and the common man. People are dying, starving because they cannot use their own hard-earned money,” she said.
Banerjee also said that she apprised the President about the prevailing situation, including how all those who are opposing the move are being threatened.
“Even the media houses are not being spared, from corporate houses to industrialists to the common people, whoever is opposing the move is being threatened,” she claimed.
Demanding a rollback of the move, Ms Banerjee has been leading her party’s campaign in the national capital.
Besides leading a march to the President along with leaders of several other parties on November 16, Ms Banerjee on Wednesday hosted a protest meeting at the Jantar Mantar.
Several opposition leaders, including Sharad Yadav of the Janata Dal-U, Jaya Bachchan of the Samajwadi Party and Majeed Memon of the Nationalist Congress Party, attended the meet.