In a dramatic turn of events, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has said she is ready to even work with her arch-rival CPIM, despite ideological difference with them, to save the country. “We may have ideological differences with CPI-M but we are ready to work with it, Congress, SP, BSP to save the country. The anti-people Modi government has imposed an undeclared emergency in the country,” Banerjee said during a media interaction in Kolkata. Upping the ante against the Centre on the issue of demonetisation of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 denominations, she said, “Congress, Mayawati, Mulayam Singh ji, (Arvind) Kejriwal have protested against the demonetisation issue. Let all the opposition parties work together to save the country”.
Accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi of conducting a surgical strike on the common people in the name of unearthing black money, she said that the demonetisation move was taken without any proper planning causing immense hardship. “The Modi goverment had misled the people on the surgical strikes (in POK). The people do not know what had happened,” she said. She also demanded immediate withdrawal of the ‘draconian’ decision to demonetise Rs 500/1000 notes. Calling the government anti-poor, the chief minister asserted that a few money launderers are profiting due to this ‘black decision’. “Only 1 % people hold black money; why are the other 99% being harassed for this,” said Banerjee adding that it is a betrayal with people. Banerjee reiterated that the common people were facing hardships because of government’s decision.”A sudden midnight decision was taken. But few people in the ruling party knew about it,” she said. Trinamool Congress has already given a notice in the Rajya Sabha for a discussion on the demonetisation issue on November 16, the opening day of winter session of Parliament. TMC leader in Lok Sabha Sudip Bandopadhyay has said the party would bring an adjournment motion in the house on the same day. Mamata also penned a poem on the demonetisation issue.
This is a surprise as the firebrand Banerjee’s entire political career has, in the past, been based on the opposition of the Left, which had been in power for over three decades until she took charge in 2011. This is the first time that she has stated clearly her willingness to work with the CPI(M). Left leaders, meanwhile, refused to comment on the issue.
Meanwhile, in reference to CPM’s allegation that the BJP’s state unit knew about the government’s decision as it deposited Rs 1 crore at a nationalised bank here (all in Rs 1000 and Rs 500 notes) on November 8, just hours before Modi’s announcement, Banerjee said, “A sudden midnight decision was taken. But few people in the ruling party knew about it.”