Bhubaneswar: In a show of strength, Congress party leaders including former Home Minister Shivraj Patil today held a demonstration in front of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) office in Bhubaneswar protesting against demonetisation and alleged that the poor and middle class sections of the society are worst-hit even after 70 days of the note ban.
Despite the much-talked about rift in between OPCC chief Prasad Harichandan and senior Congress leader Niranjan Patnaik, both the leaders were seen sharing dais during the protest meeting in front of the RBI office.
Holding placards Congress leaders and activists shouted slogans and marched from Congress Bhawan to the RBI office. They demanded resignation of RBI Governor Urjit Patel alleging the apex bank has lost its autonomy due to intervention from the Centre.
Addressing the gathering at the protest meeting, Patil said, “We have rights to oppose the Centre’s decision to sanction loans at low interest rates to people who have already withdrawn Rs 8 lakh crore from banks and did not utilise them properly.”
Alleging economically-backward sections of the society are worst-hit due to the note ban, the OPCC chief stated, “Though the Centre had said the demonetisation would eradicate black money and decrease inflation in the country, someone cannot be stopped to withdraw their hard-earned money deposited in banks during exigencies such as for education and medical expenses.”
Expressing similar views, Narasingha Mishra, Leader of Opposition said, “Without talking to experts, the Prime Minister on his own took the decision. Now, the demonetisation has hit the economy badly and in coming days situation will be grim.”
Refuting the charges, Basant Panda, BJP State president, said, “Those, who have made the country poor and brought shame to it, are making tall claims and playing political gimmicks.”
The Congress party has planned to launch nation-wide protests targeting the Modi government over demonetisation in between January 20 and 30.