One Year of Note Ban: Congress to Observe 8 Nov as ‘Black Day’
Banned currency notes of Rs 1,000 and 500 (Photo: AP)
Banned currency notes of Rs 1,000 and 500 (Photo: AP)(Photo: AP)

One Year of Note Ban: Congress to Observe 8 Nov as ‘Black Day’

A near-united Opposition announced on Tuesday that they would observe 8 November, the first anniversary of demonetisation, as 'Black Day' and would hold protests across the country to highlight its "ill effects" on the economy.

Announcing the decision at a joint press conference of the Opposition coordination committee, Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad said, "This particular announcement made on 8 November is the scam of the century, which is why we are observing this as Black Day."

He described the note ban decision as the NDA government's "most ill-conceived and hasty decision”.

Also Read: IMF Lowers India’s Growth Forecast Over Demonetisation, GST

One can say this is the scam of the century. Eighteen political parties have decided to hold protests in every state in their capacity against the government’s decision which caused hardship to the people. Never ever in the world have people died because of a government policy. 
Ghulam Nabi Azad, Opposition Leader, Rajya Sabha 

Azad, flanked by Sharad Yadav of the breakaway faction of the JD-U and TMC leader Derek O'Brien, said, "Each political party will try to give a regional name to observe this as a 'Black Day' and will hold protests and processions."

O'Brien said his party would observe the day as "Kalo Dibas" which is 'Black Day' in Bengali.

The history of modern India will remember the ‘scam’ which took place on 8 November. We had raised a number of questions and our doubts regarding the policy but the government could not answer or erase our doubts.
Derek O’Brien, MP, TMC

O'Brien also said that all the 18 parties would interpret the day in different ways "in the true federal structure and will take it forward".

Asked why the Opposition was not planning a joint and united protest on the day, Azad said the Opposition had been "forced" to call 8 November as 'Black Day' and that the parties were united on the issue.

Also Read: Demonetisation: Economy Shaken, GDP Hurt, Trust in Govt Undermined

"Since Opposition leaders from all parties including regional ones cannot be in Delhi. That is the reason the coordination committee has decided to have protests at every state according to the capacity of various Opposition parties. Our purpose is to show our unity," he said.

When we raised this issue in Parliament, we visualised the problems but general public did not have apprehensions initially. All political parties were branded as if we all are corrupt and we are all black money hoarders. This is how the prime minister tried to project those who opposed demonetisation. Each of them has felt the pinch and realised how much damage we have suffered due to it.
Ghulam Nabi Azad, Opposition Leader, Rajya Sabha 

Also Read: How Modi and Jaitley Rewrote The Demonetisation Narrative

DMK Working President MK Stalin with DMK Chief M Karunanidhi in Chennai. 
DMK Working President MK Stalin with DMK Chief M Karunanidhi in Chennai. 
(Photo: PTI)

The DMK has also said that it will observe 8 November as 'Black Day', and stage demonstrations across Tamil Nadu.

This unilateral decision (of demonetisation) by the BJP government has affected the unorganised sector, daily-wage labourers and farm workers, besides hurting MSMEs (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises). The country’s economy is sluggish today.  
MK Stalin, Working President, DMK

The BJP government did not come forward to condole in Parliament deaths which occurred in queues in banks and ATMs, Stalin said.

Taking a dig at the BJP, the DMK leader also said the party had not implemented its pre-poll promises such as “depositing Rs 15 lakh in each Indian’s bank account” and ensuring economic growth.

The group of 18 Opposition parties has been standing together against the government at the Centre, and formed the seven-member coordination committee comprising leaders of the Congress, TMC, SP, BSP, DMK, the Left, and the breakaway JD-U faction.

(With inputs from PTI.)

Also Read: Indian Economy Paying Hefty Price for Demonetisation: Kaushik Basu

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