PATNA: 18 opposition parties are likely to join the state-wide strike call given by the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) in Bihar to protest demonetization drive of the ruling Narendra Modi government at the centre.
On Saturday, the RJD chief Lalu Prasad held a meeting with the representatives of 18 opposition parties at his official residence in Patna to chalk out strategy to make the protest rally a grand success.
The protest is scheduled to be organized on November 8— the day when the Modi government had banned high-value notes in the denomination of Rs 1000 an Rs 500 last year. The purpose of this rally is to highlight the financial troubles caused by the note ban to the general masses.
“The demonetization drive launched by the Modi government has brought untold miseries to the common men. While it shut down shops, it has also left many unemployed,” the RJD president alleged, addressing the meeting of the opposition parties at his residence.
He asked the opposition to join his protest programme and highlight the darker side of the notes ban which has destroyed life of the common villagers and served no purposes.
“The denomination drive will be completing one year on November 8 and through this rally, we will ask the government to explain what benefits it had given to the common men, society and the country. The government will have to reply over this,” Prasad has told the media.
The RJD chief said the note ban brought untold miseries to all sections of the society. While small businessmen shut down shops, it left many jobless as the many industries got destroyed due to notes ban, Prasad alleged.
A recent report of the Reserve Bank of India too revealed 99 percent of demonetized notes had returned to the banks.
“Subject to future corrections based on verification process when completed, the estimated value of SBNs (specified bank notes) received as on June 30, 2017 is Rs 15.28 trillion,” the RBI said in the report in August this year.
This is the second rally of the RJD in the past three months. Earlier in August, the RJD had held a rally against the BJP in Patna’s Gandhi Maidan.
Although the RJD claims the purpose of the rally is to highlight the demerits of the note ban, political experts say the move is aimed at keeping the flock of the party lawmakers together and getting them busy in party programmes till next general elections now that the party is out of power.
Another rally plan of the party comes barely two months after the RJD held a massive rally at Patna’s Gandhi Maidan in August which brought many opposition parties at a single platform.
The RJD chief is really upbeat at the success of the rally which drew huge crowd and wants to keep party tempo maintained till the next elections.
He is also apprehensive that the date of the assembly polls for Bihar could be advanced with the talks of holding elections of the Lok Sabha along with the state assemblies doing the rounds.