New Delhi, Nov 24: After days of disruption and adjournments, Parliament continued to function in a smooth manner on Thursday after Prime Minister Narendra Modi decided to attend the proceedings in Rajya Sabha. With PM Modi in attendance, Opposition laid down their arguments one-by-one in an articulative manner before the government. Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP Derek O’Brien adopted the most scathing approach. In his speech in the Upper House, O-Brien slammed PM Modi, accusing him of shedding crocodile tears. While pointing out the drawbacks of demonetisation move by Modi government, he highlighted how GDP is being dealt a massive blow due to the ill-conceived implementation.
“4 out of 5 villages in India don’t have bank. 90 per cent debit cards used only to withdraw money. Even the section of population which is connected with the banking sector, has not adopted cashless modes of transactions. 90 per cent of people in India use their debit cards only for withdrawal… before going into a cashless society, you cannot live in a lululand. Dozens of changes after announcement, even though the Finance Minister says that the implementation is 100 per cent efficient and effective,” the Trinamool lawmaker said.
Taking a jibe against the Prime Minister, O’Brien said, “Some people are so grieved that crocodile tears are also shed.”
Quotes Mamata Banerjee
Subsequently, O’Brien began reading quotes of Mamata Banerjee to articulate the hardships being suffered by the common people. “While I am strongly against black money, I am deeply concerned about daily wage earners, small traders and the common man. How will they buy essential commodities from tomorrow? The Prime Minister could not get black money from abroad, hence so much drama. I want to ask the Prime Minister: How my hard-working people, who have earned their weekly wages in Rs 500 notes, will buy dal, aata, chawal. This is a heartless and ill-conceived blow to the middle class, the agricultural, the teagarden workers, the unorganized labour sector, shopkeepers, the small businessman – all would be suffering.”
“This is no Bob Dylan quote. This is Mamata Banerjee reacting to this decision, not in 10 or 15 days, but within 2 hours,” he further added.
“You cannot suppress the voice of people. We will fight this demonetisation move. You can put Mamata Banerjee and us behind the bars,” O’Brien said.
“The way our economy is designed, there is a complete flow between black and white (money). Here are two numbers I want to bring before the Prime Minister. The GDP per day is Rs 45,000 crores. Of this, 59 per cent is private consumption of Rs 27,000 crores . 87 per cent of this in cash, which roughly translates to Rs 24,000 crores. Therefore, in 15 days, we have lost Rs 15,000 crores of GDP in last 15 days,” O’Brien said.
“As Mamata didi pointed out, this is a big black decision. It is a desperate attempt to start black mechanism. This is anti-people. Our first concrete suggestion was to allow new and old notes of Rs 500 to function parallelly,” he added.