New Delhi: Congress party workers on Friday held a nationwide protest against the Bharatiya Janata Party-led central government's demonetisation drive, which had its second anniversary on Thursday.
Party workers took to the streets in Mumbai, Chennai, Chandigarh, Patna, Jaipur, Bhubaneswar, Ranchi, Bengaluru and in the national capital, protesting against the note ban.
The workers of Himachal Pradesh division observed black day in Shimla. Wearing black bands on their heads, the party workers carried placards and raised anti-demonetisation slogans.
Himachal Pradesh Congress spokesperson Naresh Chauhan said that people have now realised that Prime Minister Narender Modi has deceived them and that no black money has been recovered as promised before 2014 general elections.
Former Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat, who protested along with the Congress workers in the national capital, told ANI, "People are unhappy with the BJP government. Demonetisation created a huge loss. We are protesting against it because Indian economy has suffered badly. We need to have a telescope to find a common man, who can stand up and say that he profited due to demonetisation. Only few people earned money due to this move."
Party workers who staged a protest outside the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) headquarters in Delhi, were detained. "It's shocking. I have never seen this kind of repression. We are a democracy. We should have been allowed to raise our voice against a wrong and reckless decision, which led to disaster. Prime Minister Modi is responsible for inflicting that pain on Indian people -- there was loss of jobs, loss of lives, loss of business. Poor people were hurt the most," said senior Congress leader Anand Sharma.
Congress workers raised slogans criticising the Centre in other cities also such as Mumbai, Chennai, Ranchi, Patna, Chandigarh and Patna.
While addressing a press conference in Guwahati, Congress leader P Chidambaram said, "Demonetisation was an ill-conceived move, inspired by one or more persons who are totally unqualified on matters concerning money and the economy."
On November 8, 2016, the Centre had declared Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes as non-legal and introduced new Rs 500 and Rs 2,000 notes. Since then, various opposition parties have been highly critical of the Centre's move, while the members of the BJP and its allies have backed the decision.
On the second anniversary of demonetisation on Thursday, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley strongly defended demonetisation saying that the note ban had a huge impact on formalising the Indian economy.