Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on Monday was seen speaking to people standing in the queues outside ATMs and banks, which began forming in the wee hours of morning in Delhi. Interacting with the locals, Rahul asked them about the inconvenience they were facing and called on them to voice their indignation against the Centre's move of demonetisation, saying that it has become a major hassle in day to day life for the common man.
Rahul met with people in queues at Jahangirpuri, Inderlok and Zakira area. This move by the Congress leader came right before the huddle by the opposition in both Houses of Parliament today at 9:30 a.m. to discuss fresh strategy to counter the Centre's move to demonetise high value currency notes.
Both the Houses of Parliament have been witnessing a stormy debate over demonetisation during the first three days of the winter session. The Congress party has issued a whip to all its MPs to be present in Parliament on Monday for Day 4 of the Winter Session.
In the Lok Sabha, the Congress and some other opposition parties insisted on a discussion on demonetisation under Rule 56, which entails voting and through an adjournment motion that implies suspension of all other business. In both Houses, the opposition parties insisted on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's presence while opposing demonetisation.
In the Rajya Sabha, treasury benches also resorted to slogans after Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi referred to the Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad's statement that more people had died because of demonetisation than had been killed in the Uri terror attack on September 18 this year.
The CPI (M), in a statement, said, "Instead of immediate measures to bring relief to the people, the government has now reduced the limit of exchanging notes per person from Rs. 4,500 to Rs. 2,000. This will hit hard the poorer sections." The opposition has been clamouring for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's presence in the Parliament, saying that he has a moral obligation to answer the common man whose life has been thrown in turmoil because of demonetisation.
Lashing out at the Prime Minister for failing to appear in Parliament to face the opposition, the Congress had earlier asserted that the former was "absconding" from the House, but seemed to have enough time on his hands to address the Global Citizen Festival via video conferencing, where the internationally acclaimed band Cold Play performed.
"Fifty five people have died. Crores stand in line for the past 11 days. Banks do not have cash, ATMs do not have notes. People have money in their accounts, but there is no money to be withdrawn from their accounts," Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said, adding that the Prime Minister was missing from parliament since the Winter Session began.
"Parliament is on and the Rajya Sabha is demanding that the Prime Minister should come and answer on demonetization, but Modiji has time to address via video conferencing a Cold Play concert in Mumbai," Surjewala added.