All-India Protests against PM’s Demonetisation Draws Mixed Responses from the Country Worldwide. Is Bharat Bandh an Effectual Approach to Resolving Currency Crunch?

The opposition has found a common ground for expressing their displeasure on government’s currency demonetisation. The northern, central and western states have called in for nationwide protests. However, the Left Front dominating Tripura, Kerala and Bengal was bent on observing ‘Bharat Bandh’ to pressurize government. Amidst cash crises, currency crunch and political hostility, the bigger question is will something good come out of this remonstration? Will the countrymen support bigger parties like AIADMK, TMC and Congress in their movement? Did this move yield any positive results?

Here are ten latest developments in terms of demonetisation protest that answer all the aforementioned questions.

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1. In the stroke of midnight, when PM Narendra Modi announced the infamous ‘notebandi’ (demonetisation) in India, it stirred up a fresh round of controversies, drawing different responses from people all over the world. PM, who was on the sharp end of Opposition’s knife demanded an explanation from opposition parties at BJP’s Parivartan Rally at Kushinagar, Uttar Pradesh. Congress accused the ruling BJP saying “Misinformation has been spread by the BJP which is ill-informed“. This is how Congress decided to observe Bharat Bandh.

2. Last week, during a political debate on currency ban at the Winter Session, the opposition stalled parliamentary proceedings, demanding the PM to revoke. Few politicians challenged the PM to dissolve Lok Sabha to seek fresh mandate. Turning down their plea, Modi-led BJP government was firm on its decision. They defended their move saying that they’ve the support of the common man. Rahul Gandhi was among the first few leaders to protest at parliaments.

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3. AAP, Congress and TMC proposed the idea of ‘Bharath Bandh’ that didn’t sit well with the public. Many shops, private companies and educational institutions refused to participate. Judging by the mood of the people and the apparent loss involved in shutting off operations (that amounts to Rs. 13,000 crore per day), the parties quit this idea. Instead, they held protests on notes ban today.

4. Calling it ‘Jan Aakrosh Diwas’, Congress with TMC Supremo Mamata Banerjee called for a unified protests. In West Bengal, this protest has virtually no impact on the city. All factories, offices, schools and shops are open. However, Mamata and her supporters held a march against the government in Kolkata around 1pm.

mamata-on-demonetisation5. Delhi CM Kejriwal and Aam Aadmi Party held protests in the heart of Delhi, at Central Park.

6. BSP chief Mayawati informed the media that her party has nothing to do with public shutdown in Uttar Pradesh. However, she condemned PM’s decision. Quoting the incident of Bihar, where BJP went on a land-buying spree ahead of demonetization, Mayawati asked BJP leaders to disclose details of their bank deposits and land transactions.

7. The Left wing that head a coalition government in Kerala observed complete shutdown in state. All shops and companies were closed, buy banks were open and public transport was thin.

8. Amidst name calling, slogan shouting and hostility, the government moved a bill in Lok Sabha to prevent tax evasion following demonetisation in India.

9. In a fiery defence of demonetisation decision, PM termed it as ‘corruption band’ in his radio address ‘Mann ki Baat’ yesterday. The Opposition, agitated at PM branding them ‘corrupt’ raised a series of question on the chaotic implementation of this decision.

10. Shockingly, the winner of this showdown was Bihar CM Nitish Kumar, who surfaced as a rare species in politics. Speaking in favour of PM’s decision, Nitish declared that his party wouldn’t participate in shutdown or protests because he sees it as a measure to control black money, undisclosed assets and corruption. This vote of confidence earned him BJP chief Amit Shah’s gratitude on Twitter.

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So, this was how political parties created nationwide drama, but what about the public? Did any of the political leaders consider the needs of a common man? No! But, this was something we all expected, isn’t it? Politics is all about politicians first and people later. 20 days have passed since demonetisation in India. Now, we just have to watch and wait for BJP government to come up with a concrete solution to this problem within 50 days.

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