Assam Cong leaders detained during demonetisation stir

GUWAHATI: Police detained several Assam Congress leaders, including state PCC president and Rajya Sabha MP, Ripun Bora, during a protest staged here against the Narendra Modi-led BJP government’s demonetisation which completed two years on Thursday.

Several senior Congress leaders, including former chief minister Tarun Gogoi, leader of the Opposition in the state Assembly, Debabrata Saikia, former minister Rakibul Hussain, member of Parliament Gaurav Gogoi joined the protest rally in front of the Reserve Bank of India shouting slogans to denounce the Modi government’s move, which they claimed has “ruined and wrecked the economy and hit petty traders and the common man hard.

The protesters had reportedly barged into the area protected by barricades near RBI here which prompted the policemen to detain some leaders from proceeding with their protest.

The Centre had on November 8, 2016, announced the demonetisation of all Rs 500 and Rs 1000 denomination notes and subsequently circulated new Rs 500, Rs 2000 notes in exchange for the demonetised currency.

The announcement apparently triggered panic among people across the country with serpentine queues noticed in front of ATMs and account holders flooding banks to exchange their old Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes.

Leader of Opposition in the Assam Legislative Assembly, Debabrata Saikia demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi should step because “he has failed to live up to the commitment of the economy benefitting after 50 days of demonetization.”

“The Prime Minister should accept his failure to fulfill the promises and commitments made to the people of India when he announced demonetization as the economy has been ruined since then. He has lost the confidence of the people and therefore should accept his failure and quit. The Lok Sabha elections should be pre-poned as well,” Saikia told reporters at the protest site on Thursday morning.

Several Congress leaders lambasted the BJP for “imposing policies” that harmed small traders at the cost of big industrialists.

The Modi government had claimed that the demonetisation move would considerably reduce the use of counterfeit cash to fund illegal activity and terrorism besides curbing money laundering.


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