Former junior HRD Minister and Congress MP, Shashi Tharoor says he was arrested on Friday while protesting against demonetisation in Thiruvananthapuram, outside the office of Reserve Bank of India.
Tharoor said that he was arrested despite being part of a peaceful dharna, to news agency ANI.
Tharoor is not the only leader from the opposition parties to have protested the ban on Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 notes. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and her Delhi counterpart, Arvind Kejriwal, too have been vociferously criticising PM Modi’s demonetisation announcement.
Speaking to reporters on Friday, Banerjee said, “It is only the President who can save the country at this hour of crisis. There is no government in the country now. It is not possible for Narendra Modi to run the country. He is using several Central agencies for his political purpose. Everyday he is breaking old structures. He has abolished Planning Commission. He is ignoring common people, poor people, government employees.”
On 1 January, Kejriwal too had demanded an inquiry to know the eventual gain out of the 50 day demonetisation exercise. According to him, the exercise had not managed to achieve any of the four objectives that Modi had claimed it would, namely reduce corruption, curb black money, reduce terrorism and circulation of fake currency. That, in fact it has increased corruption and calls it the scam of all the scams.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a surprise announcement on 8 November had declared the Rs 500 and 1,000 notes invalid.
The banks started accepting deposits in scrapped notes from 10 November. However, very few ATMs opened on 11 November, as most of the machines had to be recalibrated for dispensing the new Rs 2,000 and Rs 500 notes.
Saddled with cash crunch, banks resorted to rationing of valid currency notes. Even on the last day, few banks were rationing Rs 5,000 per person against the withdrawal limit of Rs 24,000 per account in a week.
Although the overall situation at banks has improved, ATMs still have to do some catching up. Many cash vending machines are still out of cash.
More than 100 people have died due to demonetisation related stress since 8 November. Modi has come under huge criticism for not responding to continuous debts related to a policy decision announced by him. Many experts have termed the note ban decision “a huge act of stupidity”.