Even a week after the demonetisation, there is no respite for the people reeling under the weight of currency shortage. It is only natural that the Opposition sees in the crisis, a stick to beat the government with. It is a different matter whether the political exploitation of the government blunder will end the problems of the common man.
There is a general feeling that the withdrawal of `500 and `1,000 notes from circulation was a bold attempt to address the triple issues of corruption, black money and counterfeit notes. Where the government erred was in visualising the problems and taking advance steps to solve them. If the government was clueless about the ramifi cations of Modi’s strike against high-denomination currencies, the condition of the Opposition is no better.
Except that they are somewhat united in cornering the government, there is little in common among them. If there is one who showed some measure of consistency in opposing demonetisation, it is West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. She sees it as a scam on the plea that the West Bengal BJP deposited `3 crore in the bank hours before Modi’s announcement. However, she has no idea of how to go about on this issue.
All she could think of was to meet President Pranab Mukherjee and give a memorandum. CPM’s secretary Sitaram Yechury wants the government to declare the old notes as legal tender till at least December- end. It is as good as telling the government to rollback Modi’s decision. At the other end of the spectrum is the Biju Janata Dal which strongly supports the demonetisation.
Most parties want to push the ruling party to a corner before they meet the President. There is no doubt that the patience of the people has been growing thin. They may not be prepared to wait for 50 days before the liquidity crunch is pushed to the background. The government should do everything possible to help the people tide over their diffi culties. The sooner the better.