A group of opposition parties, including the Congress, wondered on Tuesday if Prime Minister Narendra Modi would resign if a nationwide financial chaos following the recall of high-value didn’t normalise after the December 30 deadline set by him.
Addressing a joint press conference of eight Opposition parties in Delhi, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee was the first to demand Modi’s resignation.
"The PM had asked people to wait for fifty days on November 8. Only 3 days are left now. Will you resign as the PM if things are not stable after 50 days?” she asked.
"This is a fearless government, they do not care about anything, they don't fear anything," the Trinamool leader said. Then, in case anyone didn't get her barb, she added: "They do whatever they feel like, the federal structure totally destroyed. This is not (like the) Emergency, it is super-Emergency," she said.
Mamata called demonetisation "a mega scam, one of the biggest one after independence", and said Modi has pushed India back "by 20 years" by imposing his unilateral decision of banning the Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes.
Rahul Gandhi today asked PM Modi to tell the nation why he imposed demonetisation on the nation and who is responsible for the sufferings of the poor people.
"PM should answer the nation what was the real motive of demonetisation and what will he do for the poor people affected by it," the Congress vice-president said.
"Demonetisation has made no impact on black money. It is an attack on financial independence, poor people," he said.
"December 30 is about to come and the situation is the same. The motive of demonetisation has failed completely," Rahul said.
Gandhi called demonetisation a failed experiment, saying it has increased unemployment in the country.
"Gareeb logon se paisa khicho, aur ameeron ko sicho (Grab money from the poor and fortify the rich)," Gandhi said of the government's move to demonetise higher currency notes.
He added that the exercise was an attack on the country's rural poor, who have to make do without currency notes. "There is no cash with farmers, small traders and labourers," he added.
"PM Narendra Modi says he is fighting corruption but not answering allegations of personal corruption against him," he said, referring to his allegations of Modi taking money from some corporates when he was the Gujarat Chief Minister.
About the fact that his party colleague Sheila Dikshit's name also features on that list , Rahul said she's ready for an inquiry into it.
"Sheilaji has said that she is ready for a probe, why is the PM not ready for a similar probe?" Rahul asked.
Terming demonetisation, "a failed experiment", Gandhi hit out at Modi for the alleged corruption charges against the prime minister in the Sahara diaries issue. He said that when the diaries surfaced, Congress ministers associated with it had resigned. "Even LK Advani resigned. But will Modiji resign?" he asked.
While key Opposition parties like Janata Dal(United), Left and Nationalist Congress Party skipped the meeting, Gandhi and Banerjee announced they would sketch a common minimum agenda to take on Modi over the scrapping of Rs 1000 and Rs 500 banknotes.
Even as Gandhi accepted that "some parties will have some differences,” he claimed that on demonetisation, they are all united.
"We are together. All Opposition parties believe in democratic principles. I can sit with Mamata ji even though I have slight disagreement with her. We will come up with a common minimum programe or a series of things which we agree on. We see all Opposition parties as assets,” Gandhi said.
Meanwhile, Ravi Shakar Prasad issued a prompt rebuttal on behalf of the government, saying it was customary of Rahul Gandhi to level baseless allegations. The Union minister, invoked past scams in the UPA regime. Prasad implored Gandhi to tell him what he had to say on the 2G and coal scams.