Oppn stalls RS proceedings to press for PM's presence

Demonetization just a 'beginning' in fight against black money says PM Modi in emotional appeal to BJP lawmakers

Home minister Rajnath Singh had called a meeting with leaders of the Opposition today but they skipped it, deciding to meet on their own.

The Lok Sabha was adjourned for almost an hour soon after it met for the day as a determined opposition once again pitched for discussing the demonetisation issue under adjournment motion.

Anand Sharma, the Congress's deputy leader in the Rajya Sabha, said: "We need to consult every party that has been part of the process in Parliament".

Stressing that the decision to withdraw old Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes "will not be taken back in any situation", he said the government is "ready to make improvement" and asked the Opposition parties to come forth if they have any suggestions regarding it.

Asserting that economy has been affected by the step, Gandhi demanded the setting up of a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) to probe the alleged selective leakage of the decision.

The Opposition has been stalling the Rajya Sabha in protest against Modi's absence in the House during the debate and maintains that since he made the announcement on November 8, he should speak in the House on the issue.

A senior minister said that though Modi was present in the House, the Opposition did not agree to start the debate and instead raised the demand of having it by bringing adjournment motion which is nothing but a censure against the tainted money purging exercise.

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He said the government has failed to apologise for the deaths due to demonetisation.

Addressing the protest rally at the Jantar Mantar, the West Bengal Chief Minister dubbed Modi a "Hitler" and said the country is not secure under his rule.

Hitting out at the opposition, Naidu said: "I am surprised at the manner in which the opposition is coming together, but what is their strength?" The BJP's effort, on the other hand, is to avoid "personal" attacks against the Prime Minister on the issue. Modi-ji, do you realise how people are starving?

Barring Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, the demonetisation move has been severely criticised by many for its poor planning and execution.

He further said it raises a question over his responsibility towards the people.

99% of the respondents thought that the evil of corruption and black money needs to be fought and eliminated.

A section in the Congress, however, is apprehensive that if Modi speaks in Parliament, the government can easily turn the debate in its favour.

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