After Rahul Gandhi's Explosive Claim, More Chaos In Parliament: 10 Developments


Rahul Gandhi has declared that he has information on the "personal corruption" of PM Narendra Modi

New Delhi:  Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi and the leaders of 14 other opposition parties will march tomorrow from parliament to the presidential palace of Rashtrapati Bhawan to meet President Pranab Mukherjee to protest against the government's decision to yank 500-and 1,000-rupee notes and update him on what they describe as the unrelenting hardship caused to people by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's sudden demonetisation move last month. Friday is the last day of parliament's winter session, which has seen continuous disruptions and little work done. The government and opposition have blamed each other.
Here are the 10 latest developments in this big story:
  1. Both sides have spent virtually the entire session arguing about how a debate on demonetisation should be conducted. The government refused to accept a debate followed by a vote; the opposition insisted that PM Modi must explain his reform, intended at uncovering black money and punishing its owners.
  2. "This is for the first time in the history of India that it's the ruling party that is not letting the House function," alleged the Congress's Ghulam Nabi Azad in the Rajya Sabha. The House was adjourned soon after. The Lok Sabha has been adjourned for the day.
  3. The BJP today said it is ready to debate the notes ban, but demanded that the Congress first give answers on the AgustaWestland helicopter deal after former Air Chief SP Tyagi, arrested on Friday, alleged that the then Congress government had tweaked the deal in favour of the UK-based helicopter maker.
  4. Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi dramatically declared yesterday that the government is obstructing a debate because he has information on "the personal corruption" of PM Modi, a claim the ruling BJP derided as "the year's biggest joke."
  5. Mr Gandhi was flanked by leaders from 14 other parties as he made his announcement; the 46-year-old says the other parties are aware of the damaging evidence he has against the PM.
  6. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal posed the question that many have: why not just reveal the evidence rather than waiting for an opportunity in parliament?
  7. Since the high-denomination notes were cancelled on November 8, nearly $185 billion has been deposited in bank accounts - that's about 80% of the notes that were declared invalid.  Because the deadline to turn in old notes is December 30, analysts predict that virtually all the cancelled notes will be returned.
  8. What that suggests is that the move may have failed in forcing the destruction or abandonment of vast amounts of black money because people with undeclared cash would be wary of attracting the scrutiny of tax authorities.
  9. The RBI has printed some 1.7 billion new 500- and 2,000-rupee notes. That is a fraction of the 24 billion individual notes that were withdrawn. Banks continue to struggle with a shortage of cash and long lines of desperate customers.
  10. Searches by tax officials have been uncovering huge amounts of the new currency in states like Karnataka. The RBI on Tuesday asked banks to keep all CCTV footage from November 8, in a bid to scrutinise depositors. Some bank officials including one from the RBI have been arrested for allegedly laundering old and invalid notes.
lok sabha chaos

The winter session of parliament which has seen repeated adjournments over notes ban ends tomorrow

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Today is second-last day of winter session of parliament
Opposition wants debate on notes ban followed by a vote
Rahul Gandhi says speech will disclose PM's "personal corruption"

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