Demonetisation was the major point in the debate in both the Houses of Parliament on the motion moved by the Centre thanking President Pranab Mukherjee for his address to Parliament.
The Opposition leaders tore into the Centre’s claims over demonetisation, while the BJP benches claimed that the government’s detractors are scared of actions against corruption. In the Rajya Sabha, senior leaders Sitaram Yechury and Sharad Yadav, led the Opposition’s tirade, while in the Lok Sabha, leader of the Congress Mallikarjun Kharge attacked the Narendra Modi government’s policies.
Citing an old interview of yesteryear film producer-director Manmohan Desai, the CPI(M) general secretary Yechury said the Centre does not want the people to think. “Before people start thinking, the Centre will come up with another jumla (empty promise),” he said. “Desai”, he said, “told in an interview that the success of his films was that he will not allow the viewer to think.”
Yechury said he has moved an amendment to the motion on the President’s failure to mention about more than 100 deaths during the demonetisation drive. He said the speech was also silent on the “diabolic” agenda of the Sangh Parivar to create divisions among people. “Normally the Honourable President is very fond of using three Ds to describe parliamentary democracy —— debate, discussion and decision, and not disruption. That is his fond philosophy. However, unfortunately, the irony is that he read out a speech which also has three Ds. These three Ds are not what he is fond of, but are Deception, Disruption and Diversion, which are leading up to a diabolic agenda which is being unfolded,” Yechury said
Yadav said attacks against Dalits have increased under the new government. “The government has many schemes but not everything reaches the people,” he said. Kharge attacked the Centre by saying that the real motive behind demonetisation was to make people forget Modi’s promise of putting ₹15 lakh in each account if all black money stashed abroad was retrieved. “That too was a slogan... They want people to forget that lie. That is why demonetisation was undertaken and digital economy is being pushed,” Kharge said. He urged the Centre to disclose the names of black money holders. When BJP benches retorted by saying that there are a number of Congress leaders in the list, he said: “But you (BJP) have more people. You bought land, property in various States, Bihar, Rajasthan, all States, before November 8. They had hint from the government and hence their people purchased,” he said. The BJP’s defence was led by Mahesh Sharma, Virendra Singh (Lok Sabha), and MA Naqvi and L Ganesan (Rajya Sabha).