Opposition's Countrywide Protest Over Notes Ban on Monday Next

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Opposition leaders protesting at parliament complex against notes ban

New Delhi:  200 opposition lawmakers walked in a single line in the parliament complex this morning to show solidarity with the people having to queue up at banks amid a cash crunch after the government banned 500 and 1,000 rupee notes.

The opposition parties say they will now take their protest countrywide on November 28, Monday next, giving separate calls for demonstrations and marches. "We will march separately and strike together," said the Left's Sitaram Yechury, who held a press conference.

The government move, Mr Yechury, said would not meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi's objective of fighting black money and tackling terror. "74 people have reportedly died so far. It's the poor who are suffering. Until December 30, allow people to use old notes for white transactions," the Left leader said.

On November 28, the Congress plans to protest in districts and state capitals against what it calls the failure of the government in giving people access to their own money. It will also hold protests in front of banks.

At the protest this morning, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi described the demonetisation as the world's "biggest impromptu financial experiment" and said a united opposition is firm on their demand for a joint parliamentary committee investigation into what he alleges was a selective leak about the demonetisation announcement.

He said all opposition parties are for fighting corruption and black money but "1 billion people must not be punished."

Opposition MPs from the Congress, Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party, Trinamool Congress, DMK and Left parties participated in the protest.

In parliament they have united to attack the government, disrupting proceedings in both houses as they demand that the Prime Minister explain the notes ban in the Rajya Sabha. They have also demanded a vote at the end of a debate on the notes ban in the Lok Sabha.

The government has rejected both demands.

The Prime Minister was in the Lok Sabha today, but the opposition forced an adjournment of the house because their demand for a discussion with a vote was not met.    

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