Demonetisation: 10 opposition parties get together to take on government

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Finding common ground over the demonetisation issue, 10 opposition parties on Monday decided to take on the government unitedly, both inside and outside Parliament. Leaders of Congress, Trinamool Congress, JD(U), BSP, CPI(M), CPI, NCP, RJD, JMM and DMK held a meeting here this morning to forge a common plan of action with an aim of mounting attack on the government. At the meeting, which was attended by Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, it was decided that these parties will continue to press for an adjournment motion in Lok Sabha and a debate under a rule which entails voting.

Demonetisation

Proceedings in the Lower House have already been washed out during the last two working days because of these demands. Rajya Sabha, which saw day-long inconclusive debate on demonetisation on the opening day of the session on 16 November, has failed to function as the opposition has been pressing for the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the House before the discussion could be resumed.

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The government has refused to accept this demand, saying Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has been present in the House all through the debate and he will reply to it.

Leaders of these parties will hold such strategy sessions every morning before Parliament assembles during the ongoing Winter session, sources said. It was decided that MPs of these 10 parties will stage a sit-in near Mahatma Gandhi’s statue in the Parliament complex on Wednesday. This will be followed by a march to Rashtrapati Bhawan, date for which is being worked out, the sources said.

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With Trinamool Congress taking the lead in uniting the opposition parties, its chief Mamata Banerjee is expected to reach Delhi tomorrow for the agitational programme, they said.

“This is good news that opposition parties have decided to work together with focus on alleviating the sufferings of the people,” Trinamool Congress leader Derek O’Brien told PTI.

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Besides Rahul, those who attended today’s meeting included Congress party’s Leaders of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge and Ghulam Nabi Azad, Trinamool’s Sudip Bandhyopadhyay and O’Brien, JD(U)’s Sharad Yadav, BSP’s Satish Mishra, CPI(M)’s Sitaram Yechury, CPI’s D Raja.

“The PM can speak on Cold Play (conclave), but not address the opposition on demonetisation, demands for a JPC on leakage of demonetisation information to some corporates and deaths of people standing in queue to get money from banks and ATMs,” said Mohd Salim of CPI-M.

(With inputs from PTI)

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