TMC takes its protest to President against demonetisation

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NEW DELHI: Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress took its protest against the Narendra Modi government’s demonetisation move to President Pranab Mukherjee for the third time on Wednesday, with an added issue this time of “vendetta politics” being played out by the Centre against the opposition party to highlight the arrest of senior TMC MPs Sudip Bandopadhyay, by the CBI in Kolkata.

TMC sources also told the media here on Wednesday after their meeting with the President, that no evidence against Bandopadhyay was found to corroborate the charges that CBI has made against him, in the alleged Rose Valley chit fund scam. Giving some instances, the sources said, while there is no audio or visual evidence of Bandopadhyay asking anyone to invest in the Rose Valley group, the car that the lawmaker bought, (a Tayota-Fortuner car in question) was paid for by two cheques (accounted for total Rs 26 lakh) signed by him from his MP’s SBI account. Also that Bandopadhyay has paid his travel agent by cheque, an amount of Rs 5 lakh for his 12-day trip to Europe with his wife. There is also no illegal transaction that could be traced or that no cheques have been found to have been credited to his account, the sources said.

While submitting a memorandum on the “super emergency” that has been imposed in the country, to the President, the delegation of 30 TMC MPs also harped on the point that the first time when they marched to Rashtrapati Bhawan, it was TMC chief Mamata Banerjee who led the delegation, the second time when the opposition met him on the issue, it was led by Congress president Sonia Gandhi and TMC leaders of both Houses in Parliament were also present, but this time one of their leaders -Bandopadhyay – could not be present because he was under CBI arrest in Kolkata.

Apart from narrating the post-demonetisation situation in the memorandum, the TMC MPs also told the President that the beginning from November 16, when they first met Mukherjee on the opening day of the winter session, to the present the ground situation has worsened at a fast pace and gave him details of the unemployment levels having gone up and the economy being hit in various sectors due to the cash crunch.

Speaking to reporters after marching from South Avenue to Rashtrapati Bhawan to protest against the note ban, the MPs also held PM Modi responsible for the death of 120 people, caused allegedly by the move, and sought the President’s intervention as the situation had turned “grim.”

“After outlining the grim situation, we first had called this (demonetisation) a financial emergency. Today, we believe, as we share (concern) with the President, this is now a super emergency,” TMC’s Rajya Sabha member Derek O’Brien said.

Referring to the arrest of Bandyopadhyay and Tapas Pal, another party MP, Saugata Roy said, “as part of this conspiracy (arresting MPs), TMC members are being targeted for raising voice against demonetisation, cases are being filed. Bandopadhyay is targeted thus. Our fight will continue. We cannot be supressed,” he said.

The delegation also accused the Centre of “deceiving and ambushing” its own citizens since the day the demonetisation was announced. “New and inconsistent notifications have been issued almost every day. Withdrawal limits and deposit deadlines altered with no prior notice, and financial incentives for digital transactions roll-backed at whim,” the memorandum said.

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