New Delhi: Mamata Banerjee and her main rival Left spoke in unison on Monday as they attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision to suddenly take the two biggest currency notes out of circulation to crack down on black or undeclared wealth.
As PM Modi, addressing a large gathering at Ghazipur in Uttar Pradesh, said the “poor are sleeping peacefully and the rich need sleeping pills” – a comment he has made more than once in rallies since yesterday – Ms Banerjee posted her criticism on Twitter.
“PM’s remarks are an insult to commoners and in bad taste,” she wrote.
Ms Banerjee, the first to demand, in all caps, that the government withdraw the “draconian” ban on Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 notes, has been working the phones to rally opposition forces against the move ahead of the winter session of parliament starting Wednesday.
Her party will meet the Congress and other parties this afternoon to discuss strategy for taking on the government when parliament begins winter session.
Yesterday, Ms Banerjee dialed CPM leader Sitaram Yechury and urged him to join the fight against the notes ban.
Mr Yechury confirmed the call to reporters today and said noncommitally: “We will raise it in parliament.”
Strongly criticizing the demonetization move, the senior Left leader said he had been carrying a Rs. 2,000 note from the bank for four days.
“Nobody is accepting it. I can’t use it to buy food on the train, I can’t even have a cup of coffee on the roadside,” Mr Yechury shared, commenting that the PM is a “galaxy away from reality”.
Opposition lawmakers are planning to march to parliament on Wednesday against the government’s decision.
PM Modi today ripped into opposition parties and quipped: “Some people are feeling unusually troubled by my decision.”
The Prime Minister took several digs at the Congress, referencing the Emergency of 1975-77. “Congress turned the country into prison for 19 months, to stay in power. I am asking for 50 days of difficulties for the good of the country,” he said in Uttar Pradesh, where polls will be held early next year.