Thousands of Congress workers took to the streets across Telangana State on Monday expressing their protest against Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s unplanned announcement of demonetization of high value currency notes.
Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee president N. Uttam Kumar Reddy himself led the protest in the State capaital. Accompanied by hundreds of party workers and senior leaders, Uttam Kumar Reddy began the protest march after paying floral tributes to first Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru on his birth anniversary at his statue at Abids. However, the protest march was foiled by the police, who took him and other leaders into custody and shifted them to Gandhi Nagar police station. The Congress leaders continued the protest in the police station also. Congress workers raised slogans lime “Modi Hatao – Desh Bachao” (Remove Modi and Save the Country) and also burnt his effigy.
Speaking to mediapersons later, Uttam Kumar Reddy accused the Prime Minister of enforcing ‘Financial Emergency’ in the country by implementing an unplanned decision. He said the demonetization of high-value notes has brought misery to common people, especially poor, middle-class, housewives and farmers. He said several crores of people across the nation were suffering since November 8 midnight and Modi’s decision has pushed the country into chaotic situation. “Congress is not against removal of black money, but the way they are implementing shows lack of foresight and planning,” he said, adding that the Congress was only protesting against the problems being faced by the people.
Uttam Kumar Reddy said the condition resembles that of a ‘Financial Emergency’ where common people are forced to stand in long queues of many kilometres at all banks and ATMs to withdraw their own hard-earned money. He said several marriages were cancelled and shortage of cash has even led to deaths of many innocent people. He said it was ridiculous on the part of the Prime Minister to seek 50 days time to set things in order. “Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes were cancelled without putting in place the required infrastructure for their exchange with new notes. Instead of exchanging the old notes with new notes of same or lower denominations, Rs 2,000 notes were introduced and common people are unable to utilise them for want of change. All citizens, especially the poor, have been pushed to starvation. The present situation clearly reflects very poor planning,” he said.
When asked for his reaction on proposed introduction of mobile ATMs to meet the crisis, Uttam Kumar said lakhs of existing ATMs were not functioning properly across the country. This was admitted by the Finance Ministry himself. In such a scenario, he said, mobile ATMs were a distant dream. He demanded that the Centre take immediate measures to end the misery caused to common people in the name of demonitization.
Senior leaders, including former minister Danam Nagendra, former MP M. Anjan Kumar Yadav, former MLA Sudhir Reddy, TPCC Treasurer Gudur Narayan Reddy and others were also present. Similar protests were held in headquarters of other 30 districts of Telangana where Congress workers burnt Prime Minister Narendra Modi in effigies. (NSS)