Opposition Congress along with Trinamool Congress and Janata Dal (U) on Tuesday accused the Centre of committing the “biggest scam of this century” by allegedly printing two different types of Rs 500 and Rs 2000 currency notes. The matter raised in the Rajya Sabha forced four adjournements to proceedings in the Upper House, PTI reported. Congress members trooped into the well of the House, even as Leader of the House and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the opposition party was raising “frivolous” issues, without giving notices to stall Zero Hour proceedings. Congress was supported by Sharad Yadav of JD-U, who displayed copies of some currency notes. Other members like Derek O’Brien of TMC also displayed the new 500 rupee notes issued after demonetisation to “prove” the different sizes they were bring printed. Derek O’Brien even offered to submit the notes to Jaitley and walked upto him to explain the difference. However, he didn’t left the notes with the FM. Jaitley responded by saying there is no provision in the rules that anyone could “flash any paper and say it is point of order,” according to PTI. “There is a misuse of zero hour which is going on,” he said, adding the Congress first raised the issue of provision for None-Of-The-Above (NOTA) in the ballot for Rajya Sabha poll but then discovered that the provision had been made during their rule.
“You have been raising frivolous issues in the Zero Hour without giving notice” with a view to disrupt and not get replies, Jaitley said without replying to the opposition contentions on different-sized notes. “It is a serious issue,” O’Brien said while displaying two 500 rupee notes that he claimed were different in size and design.
Congress leader Kapil Sibal claimed that different sizes of the new high denomination currency are being printed – “one for the ruling party (members) and one for the others”. “We have today discovered the reason why the government did demonetisation (of old 500 and 1000 rupee notes in November last year),” PTI quoted him as saying. Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad (Congress) alleged “this is the biggest scam of this century.”
When Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi countered Azad, the Congress leader said, “The government has no right to remain in office for even five minutes,” he said. Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman P J Kurien said even if there were two types of notes, it could not be a point of order. “You raise the issue in a different form.”
Prasad asked opposition members to explain where they got the currency notes from. Attacking Centre, Sharad Yadav said no country prints two notes of different sizes. “One is bigger, one is smaller,” he alleged, saying he san give signed copies of the notes). Kurien, however, asked leader to give a separate notice. Anand Sharma of Congress said the credibility of the currency in circulation has been challenged.