Taking opposition unity out of Parliament and onto the streets, opposition parties issued a call for a nationwide protest against demonetisation on November 28, to be observed as 'Aakhrosh Diwas'. On Wednesday morning, 200 legislators protested by marching in a chain in the Parliament complex.
Over a dozen opposition parties have resolved to intensify the campaign against demonetisation in regions of the country where they hold sway. "We will march separately and strike together," said CPI (M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury, at a news conference.
At the protest on Wednesday morning, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi said that while opposition parties are committed to the fight against corruption and black money, â€ś1 billion people must not be punished."
Conducting a protest at Jantar Mantar, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Bannerjee condemned the difficulties caused to farmers by demonetisation. â€śFarmers have lost their savings due to demonetisation. How are they going to survive? What about money in Swiss Bank,â€ť she was quoted as saying.
The call for a nationwide protest comes on the back of five continuous days of disruption within Parliament, as opposition parties refused to allow normal business to be conducted in both Houses until the Prime Minister intervened in the ongoing debate and addressed Parliament.
While Rahul Gandhi said that the debate should be conducted under an adjournment motion, as the opposition was not being allowed to express its views adequately, Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu said that the opposition uproar over demonetisation was contrary to the mood of the people, who wanted it to succeed.
Speaking to reporters outside Parliament, BSP Chief Mayawati urged President Pranab Mukherjee to summon the Prime Minister and ask him to resolve the problems faced by the common people.