Speech By PM Narendra Modi Or Nothing, Says Opposition On Notes Ban: 10 Facts

PM Narendra Modi will speak in Parliament on notes ban if needed, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said.

Highlights

  • Left calls for total strike, other parties disagree but hold protests
  • PM must explain notes ban in parliament, says opposition
  • PM to speak if needed, offers government to end parliament stand-off
NEW DELHI: If needed, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will participate in a debate on his shock withdrawal of 500-and 1,000-rupee notes, Home Minister Rajnath Singh told parliament today, where the opposition remained unpacified. At least 10 opposition parties are marking today as a day of protest against demonetisation, though only the Left has called for a Bharat Bandh or a nationwide shutdown.

Here are the 10 latest developments in this story:

  1. The opposition says PM Modi must attend a debate on his reform and reply at the end. The government has suggested that it is not necessary for the PM to sit through the entire discussion and that he can intervene or speak during the debate, if needed.

  2. That has failed to persuade the opposition. To prove it will not let parliament remain paralysed, the government has introduced a new proposal that seeks to plug tax evasion. The bill is designed as the next step after the ban on high-denomination notes.

  3. Government sources said Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley are reaching out to opposition leaders to persuade them to let the debate on the notes ban, which began on the 16th, to continue in parliament, which has been stalled by daily disruptions on the notes ban.

  4. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was among top leaders who held a protest at parliament today. "This deadlock can only end when the PM comes for discussion in the house," said Mallikarjun Kharge of the Congress in the Lok Sabha.

  5. Ms Banerjee's Trinamool Congress wants the abolition of high-denomination notes to be reversed. The Congress and others say they agree with the intent to combat black money and do not seek a rollback but want urgent remedies to help rural India, especially farmers, who are stranded without cash.

  6. In a fiery defense of his move, PM Modi said yesterday in his radio address Mann Ki Baat that today's strike or bandh is a corruption bandh, fueling the opposition's demand for an apology. Opposition leaders say the PM has repeatedly branded them as corrupt or siding with the corrupt because they have questioned the chaotic implementation of the new policy which has been weighed down by a shortage of new notes.

  7. Several parties including the Congress, Trinamool Congress and Aam Aadmi Party have said they do not support a shutdown because of the huge cost involved. But they will continue their protests in parliament and on the streets.

  8. Uttar Pradesh politician Mayawati said her party BSP is not part of the shutdown but asserted that she is strongly opposed to the notes ban. "The BJP should declare how much money it has deposited in banks in the last 10 months," she said on reports of a land-buying spree in Bihar ahead of demonetization. The opposition has seized these transactions to claim the BJP tipped off its own about the outlawing of notes.

  9. In West Bengal, one of three states where the Left parties have a presence, there has been virtually no impact of the bandh call this morning. Schools, offices and factories are open. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee of the Trinamool-led a protest march in capital Kolkata in the afternoon. In Kerala, where the Left heads a coalition government, shops are closed, banks are open, but public transport is thin.

  10. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has emerged as that rare species - an opposition leader fully backing the PM on the notes ban - and has declared his party will not participate in any protest against the reform because it agrees that it will check corruption and black or undisclosed money.  The vote of confidence from Mr Kumar, traditionally, not a fan, has provoked thanks from BJP chief Amit Shah on Twitter.


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