NEW DELHI: Even while the Opposition stayed adamant in attacking the manner of rollout of demonetisation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi told an all party meeting on Tuesday evening that the decision on scrapping old high denomination notes is a "crusade" against corruption and black money.
The all party meeting saw a clear division in the ranks of the Opposition, with the Congress and Left stressing on inconveniences caused to the people even while the Trinamool Congress, BSP and Samajwadi Party sought a complete rollback of the decision. The leaders of the Congress and the Left clarified that they did not favor the rollback of the decision. Yet, they stressed that they would raise the issue in the Winter session of Parliament, which will begin from Wednesday.
The Finance Minister Arun Jaitely explained the rationale behind the decision to the leaders of all parties in the meeting, which was chaired by the Prime Minister in the Parliament complex. The Prime Minister, who spoke at the end of the meeting, stressed that the decision for demonetisation is a “crusade” against black money and corruption. The Prime Minister sought to explain that the demonetisation is also aimed to cripple the terror funding, besides blanking out the counterfeit currencies being dumped in the country from outside. Modi added that all political parties should support the government decision on demonetisation in national interest.
Modi also sought the views of the leaders of the political parties on holding simultaneous elections for the state Assemblies and Lok Sabha. He exhorted that the issue should be discussed and debated in the Parliament.
Recalling the productive Monsoon session of Parliament during which the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill was passed, the Prime Minister hoped that the Winter session would be fruitful. He added that the government would have an open mind to discuss all issues, which the Opposition may raise in both the Houses of the Parliament.
Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Ananth Kumar told reporters that the Prime Minister sought a discussion on the issue of holding simultaneous polls, besides stressing on transparent political funding. He stated that the Prime Minister posed a few question in his speech, including how to implement state funding of elections.
However, the leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, while speaking to reporters, claimed that the decision on demonetisation was “leaked in advance to some people, including BJP leaders”. “This is probably the biggest scam,” said Azad, while clarifying that his party did not favour the rollback of the decision.
Leader of the TMC in the Lok Sabha Sudeep Bandyopadhyay demanded a complete rollback of the decision on demonetisation, saying it is hurting only the common man and the poor.
Meanwhile, a number of political parties, including the Congress, TMC, CPI (M) have given separate notices for adjournment of the proceedings of the two Houses of the Parliament to take up discussions on demonetisation.