The Congress Party has called for a anti-demonetisation meeting here today. The meeting will be followed by a joint press conference to be addressed by Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi and other opposition leaders. Congress president Sonia Gandhi is also expected to join. However, its attempt to unite all opposition parties against demonetisation has suffered a severe jolt with the Left, Janata Dal United and the Nationalist Congress Party expressing their inability to attend.
The meeting is seen as an attempt on the part of the grand old party to paper over the cracks that developed when several opposition parties skipped the joint march to Rashtrapati Bhawan on December 16 over demonetisation. Communist Party of India (Marxist) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury yesterday said there were no consultations and things were not planned properly for the joint meeting. He, however, said there is no dispute within the opposition on demonetisation and its impact on the people.
JD (U) and NCP sources have also cited improper co-ordination as a reason for not participating. JD (U) leader K C Tyagi said no common minimum programme has been worked out for it, adding that all opposition parties do not have the same stand on the banning of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 currency notes. Congress leader and former union minister Jairam Ramesh, however, has downplayed some political parties skipping the meeting, citing local and regional compulsions as reasons for non-particpation. Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is in New Delhi for the meeting. DMK, RJD and others are also scheduled to participate.