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No Bharat Bandh, Says Congress; Left, TMC Squabble Over Note Ban Protests


Updated: November 28, 2016, 8:16 AM IST
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No Bharat Bandh, Says Congress; Left, TMC Squabble Over Note Ban Protests
File image of AAP workers protesting against the demonetization of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes, in New Delhi. (Image: PTI)

New Delhi: Accusing the BJP of spreading misinformation, the Congress on Sunday said it has not called for a 'Bharat bandh' or a countrywide shutdown on Monday but 'Jan Aakrosh Diwas' to hold protests over demonetisation.

"There will be protest rallies; we have not called for a 'Bharat bandh' (shutdown). Misinformation has been spread by the BJP, which is ill-informed," said senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh.

"The Bharatiya Janata Party has spread the misinformation that the Congress and other opposition parties have called for a 'bandh'. The country is already shut from November 9, a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the demonetisation move. That's why we don't want a 'Bharat bandh'," he added.

Addressing a rally in Kushinagar in Uttar Pradesh on Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said while he had called for an end to corruption and black money, the opposition was rooting for the 'Bharat bandh'.

"The government is working to end the flow of black money and corruption but they (opposition) are talking about Bharat bandh (shutdown)," Modi said.

Ramesh said the decision to demonitise the Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes was to hide the central government's own failure to deliver on Modi's promise of bringing back black money from abroad, made during the 2014 general elections.

"It is a political move being projected as fight against corruption," said the Congress leader.

"People who actually have black money are still leading a luxurious life whereas honest people are facing hardships," he added.

On Prime Minister's support for a cashless economy, Ramesh said: "Does he want to have cashless mandis? Does he want to have the unorganised sector go cashless? It is a ridiculous proposition to say that India will become cashless and all these economic sectors will become cashless."

Meanwhile, protests against demonetisation are set to be stronger in West Bengal as the Left parties on Sunday intensified their stir in support of Monday's 12-hour general strike while the state's ruling Trinamool Congress planned to come out with a rally to protest the scrapping of high value notes but opposed the general strike.

The Trinamool on Sunday said it would protest any attempt to disrupt normal life.

First Published: November 27, 2016, 11:46 PM IST
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