In a bid to bring all opposition parties on one platform in her fight against demonitisation, West Bengal chief minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Bannerje exhorted the people of Uttar Pradesh, from where Prime Minister Narendra Modi has won his Lok Sabha seat, to teach him a lesson and oust him in the next elections.
Addressing a rally in Lucknow on Tuesday, she vowed to fight till demonetisation is rolled back. “The fight against note ban will continue till this decision is revoked as it has shut shops, markets and all agricultural operations,” she said.
Asking people to giving a fitting reply to the prime minister’s “note bandi” she said, “respond to the note bandi with a vote bandhi” she said, adding that Modi has flouted the constitutional rights of people by bringing in demonetisation.
Comparing the Modi government’s decision, she said, “Modiji has surpassed Tuglaq and Hitler and has flouted the constitutional rights of common people and now it is your tun to show that if you can vote him to power, you can also evict him from power,” she said at the rally against demonetisation, which was organised jointly with the ruling Samajwadi Party.
Slamming the Centre’s move, Bannerjee said while he has been unable to deliver on his promise of bringing in black money stashed in foreign shores, he has instead snatched away people’s money at home.
Daring the prime minister to first declare his own bank account details and those of BJP president Amit Shah, she said, “Modi has asked BJP MPs and MLAs to give details of their bank accounts, but he needs to start with himself and BJP president Amit Shah. Just before demonetisation, large number of properties have been bought in the name of BJP and its president,” she alleged referring to media reports claiming that BJP bought several pieces of land, worth crores of rupees, in Bihar weeks ahead of the demonetisation declaration on November 8.
Terming the demonetisation move as a “big scam” and “black emergency”, Banerjee exhorted the people to make the campaign against it a “people’s movement” and termed it as a “freedom struggle” which should not be given up “as there is a danger to the country’s freedom because of Modi”.
Poking fun at Modi’s claim of making India a cashless economy, Bannerjee said out of 59,000 villages in Uttar Pradesh, 39,000 villages have no access to banks. “Where will they go,” she asked, adding that while the Centre has allowed old notes of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 denominations to be used by the central PSUs such as Railways and NHAI, petrol pumps and Big Bazaar outlets, it has not allowed their usage by the state government departments or co-operatives.
“Is this how federal structure works? We are not living in a presidental system of governance,” she stated, adding that Modi cannot be allowed to behave in a high-handed manner any longer. “India will not be run as per the whims of one individual but by its people… he (Modi) is forcing things on people and this had not happened even during the dark days of Emergency,” she alleged.
Blaming Modi for bringing numerous hardships on the poor and unemployed without formulating any backup plan, she said that had she been in Modi’s place, “I would have rolled back the decision,” she said, adding demonetisation was a matter of concern for the entire nation and the Opposition is united against it in the Parliament.
Stating that her protest will not end here, she said that while in Uttar Pradesh the TMC and SP have come together, she will now take the fight further to other states. “I would be in Patna tomorrow and I will try to bring everyone together in this fight against the high-handedness of one person.”