KOLKATA: Reacting to Centre's move to withdraw Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes from Nov 8 midnight, West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee has termed the decision as financial chaos unleashed over common people in the name of fighting corruption.
Taking to the social media to vent her ire, the Trinamool Congress chief alleged that the Prime Minister could not bring back black money from abroad so created this 'drama' to divert attention.
"Heartless and ill-conceived blow on the common people and the middle class in the fake name of anti-corruption," she wrote, while adding, "While I'm strongly against black money, corruption, deeply concerned about common people, small traders. How they will buy essentials tomo(rrow)?"
Pointing out the problems marginal farmers and labourers will encounter, the Cm said that people who earn their weekly wage in Rs 500 denomination would face problems by this move, alleging that Rs 100 notes were also unavailable with the banks which would further aggravate their problems.
However, twitterati gave mixed reactions. While some criticized Mamata Banerjee reminding her of Saradha chitfund scam and Trinamool's alleged involvement in it, there were others who supported her viewpoint.
SBI CGM (Eastern Zone), Parthapratim Sengupta has asked people not to panic and not take help of middlemen. "People have time to deposit their money. We would try to pour in Rs 100 denomination notes in ATMs as much as we can," he said.
Meanwhile, Kolkatans rushed to the ATMs to deposit whatever amount they have in Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency denominations in the deposit machines and withdraw minimum Rs 400 amounts from the ATMs.
"Our salary came recently and had some amount in cash so rushed to the ATM to deposit it," said Jharna Das queued up at an ATM in Gariahat in Kolkata.
"Those having SBI account can deposit their amount. What would those without an SBI account do?," questioned a hassled Rajesh Talukdar in Jadavpur.
Meanwhile, besides long queues at ATMs, liquor shops and bars also witnessed heavy rush, with tippers crowding to gulp down a few Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes in the form of liquor before 12 am. "I had Rs 2,000 cash at home in Rs 500 currency denominations. So, I decided to buy some scotch," said Vinay Singh of Tollygunje.