Imphal, November 08 2017: A huge number of people mobilised by ten Opposition political parties today came out on the streets of Imphal to stage a rally against the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes by the Narendra Modi Government at the Centre on this day least year.
The rally was also taken out against the imposition of the Goods and Services Tax .
Christened Black Day, the protest rally as well as the protest meeting that followed was organised by the All Opposition Political Parties Against Demonetisation and included parties such as AAP, AIFB, AITC, BSP, CPI, CPI (M), INC, JD (S), NCP and RSP .
The rally started from BT Road, where the office of the MPCC (I) stands, and snaked its way through Nagamapal, Khoyathong, North AOC, Minuthong, Hatta, Checkon and wound up at Iboyaima Shumang Leela Shanglen where a public meeting followed .
The rallyists, numbering thousands carried placards and posters decrying the decision of the BJP led Government to demonetise the Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes last year as well as the decision to implement GST .
The public meeting held after the rally was addressed by former Chief Minister O Ibobi, former Deputy Chief Minister Gaikhangam, MPCC president TN Haokip, AAP president Thoudam Manihar, AITC president S Manaoton, BSP leader N Kabita, CPI (M) leader Sarat Salam, CPI leader Dr M Nara, NCP leader S Iboyaima and leader of JD (S) Manihar Goswami .
After the public meeting nine demands were collectively put up, including ‘our right to choose how we spend our money-through cash or card, compensation to all those people who lost their lives standing in queues to access their money, compensation to all the farmers who have lost market for their crops and also who had failed to sow crops in the new season, compensation to all those who had lost their jobs due to closure of small, medium enterprises, immediate establishment of Lokpal at the Centre and Lokayukta in all the States to tackle the cases of corruption, immediate publishing of the names of all the Swiss Ban account holders and bringing back the money illegally stashed abroad, electoral reforms to curb political corruption, showing data on black money which has been found, whether here or abroad and fulfilling the promise that every Indian will receive Rs 15 lakh in their bank account.’
Addressing the gathering, former Chief Minister O Ibobi said that the demonetisation move far from unearthing black money hit the poorer sections of society the hardest.
This was unprecedented in the history of the world, he added .
In the 2014 Lok Sabha election, the BJP promised that it would provide jobs to 1.5 crore people but in reality the demonetisation move resulted in five million people losing their jobs as many small scale factories closed down .
When demonetisation was announced, there were Rs 15.44 lakh crore in circulation in Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes, said Ibobi and added that out of this, 99.4 were deposited in banks .
To replace the demonetised notes, it took Rs 21 lakh crore for the RBI to issue the new notes, he added .
The BJP had also announced that after the black money is recovered, the same would be deposited in the accounts of the poorer section of people .
It is to save the country from the quixotic moves of the BJP Government that ten political parties have come today to strike a common stand, added O Ibobi .
Other than former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh stating that demonetisation will cut the GDP growth rate to 2 pc and many economists adopting the same stance, 150 people died while standing in queues to exchange their demonetised notes with valid ones .
Citing examples, Ibobi said that the GDP growth rate in the previous year was 7.7 pc but now it has come down to 5.7 pc and demonetisation is responsible for the slow down .
It is incumbent on the part of the BJP Government to answer how much black money has been recovered after the demonetisation and how much has been deposited in the bank accounts of the poor people .
Stopping corruption is the catchword of the BJP Government and while all welcome this, it is also important to question whether the level of corruption has come down or gone up, added the former Chief Minister .
Addressing the gathering, CPI State secretary Dr M Nara said that it was totally undemocratic to suddenly announce the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes .
At this moment, it is important to move beyond demonetisation and study the atrocities unleased on the minorities by the BJP and the RSS, said the CPI leader and added that far from addressing this question, Modi is maintaining a stoic silence.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi should make public the names of the 474 Indians who have been named in the Panama Paper Leaks, added Dr Nara .
The Modi Government has done away with the Rs 31 lakh crore as non-performing assets, but from the poor farmers it has recovered even a few thousand of rupees with huge interest.
It was also resolved to observe November 8 as Black Day every year.
A two minute silence was observed in honour of those who passed away during the demonetisation period last year.
Source: The Sangai Express