The opposition parties including Congress and AAP have often taunted the ruling BJP at the Centre daring its leaders to go and stand in queues with ordinary public, who have been desperately wanting to withdraw their own hard-earned money from banks.
But, they haven’t quite succeeded in bringing their lives to normalcy due to ever-changing provisions and U-turns by the government.
The BJP, in turn, has rubbished the claims of existing anger against demonetisation citing their recent successes in local body polls in Maharashtra, Gujarat and Chandigarh.
However, on Tuesday, the saffron party faced public ire in Varanasi, the constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The occasion was a special outside broadcast by Hindi news channel, Aaj Tak, which was hosting a programme on the effects of demonetisation in light of the upcoming assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh.
No sooner did the BJP spokesperson, Sambit Patra, begin to explain the ‘benefits’ of demonetisation, the angry crowd started causing disruptions to his speech.
Soon, a scuffle broke out and chairs began to fly with the channel having to abruptly end their live programme before calling in the police.
Patra, in his famous style, had likened the pain of demonetisation to what he described was samudra manthan- a mythological event. According to Patra, the demonetisation was arth manthan and its aftereffects were troubling everybody just like samudra manthan had caused grief to both gods and demons.
Sensing anger in the audience, Patra appeared visibly nervous and defensive and made several pleas for him to be heard reminding people how Varanasi was a religious place besides it being the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s constituency.
But, his pleas appeared to have fallen on deaf ears as angry crowd resorted to violence.
The programme’s host, Anjana Om Kashyap, too made desperate attempts to pacify the crowd and even admonished them, but to no avail.
Tuesday’s incident came just days after several incidents of violence over demonetisation were reported from different parts of the country.
Not so long ago, the Attorney General, Mukul Rohatgi had told the Supreme Court, which had warned of riots if the central government did not take appropriate measures to ease people’s sufferings.
Rohatgi, representing the government, had said that it was “not sitting around doing nothing” and claimed no violence or unrest has been reported in the last month.
The bench headed by the Chief Justice, Justice TS Thakur had said, “There are difficulties. You can’t dispute that. We will have riots on the streets,” the apex court observed.”
— AAPDelhiDiary (@AAPDelhiDiary__) December 20, 2016
— आज तक (@aajtak) December 20, 2016