Rahul Gandhi has accused the government of "helping black money hoarders."
Rahul Gandhi and 25 other opposition leaders from 16 parties met President Pranab Mukherjee this evening to complain against the manner in which the government has pushed in parliament a new proposal to tax black or undeclared money.
"We met the President because the bill that was passed in parliament without any discussion...The voice of the country is being suppressed and this is being done in parliament itself," Mr Gandhi, who is Congress vice president, said.
"They have my best wishes," said senior Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu dismissively, stating that, "The opposition has met the President once before, let them go again."
"Rahul Gandhi said that that IT amendments were passed without observing parliamentary procedure. We strongly refute this allegation; they forced adjournments despite the Speaker pleading them to begin the discussion," said BJP's Prakash Javadekar.
Earlier this week, the IT Taxation Laws (2nd Amendment) Bill was cleared within minutes of being taken in the Lok Sabha, where the government has a big majority, by voice vote and without a discussion. Adjournments moved by the opposition were also not allowed by the Speaker, who said that since the bill was of urgent public importance it must be passed immediately.
Opposition leaders will get a chance to weigh in on the bill in the Rajya Sabha, but since it has been passed as a money bill, the upper house, where the government is in a minority, cannot demand changes to it. It can only make suggestions which the Lok Sabha is not obliged to accept.
The Rajya Sabha must return the bill within 14 days, which means that the proposal will almost certainly become law during the winter session of parliament now on.
The bill is the next step in the government's attempt to uproot black money and money laundering by banning 500 and 1,000 rupee notes last month. It seeks to amend existing tax laws to give those holding black money in old notes a one-time window to declare it and pay a 50 per cent tax plus penalty.
Rahul Gandhi has accused the government of "helping black money hoarders." His party has led a united opposition in disrupting parliament in the winter session so far, demanding that Prime Minister Narendra Modi explain the notes ban and the cash crunch that has followed causing hardship to people.
But they have not allowed a discussion even on days that PM Modi has been in parliament and the government has accused the opposition of looking for excuses to avoid a debate after it has been faced with evidence through the ruling BJP's recent election wins that the people support the PM on demonestisation.