Demonetisation anniversary: It's 'anti-black money day' vs 'black day'

Topics Demonetisation

Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi
While the Narendra Modi government and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have prepared to celebrate the first anniversary of note ban as ‘anti-black money day’, the Opposition has plans to mark it as ‘black day’ and ‘dhokha divas’ (day of betrayal). Union ministers will fan out to address public meetings in cities across the country on Wednesday. There could be some interesting face-offs in states run by non-BJP governments.

After former prime minister Manmohan Singh addressed a press conference in poll-bound Gujarat on Tuesday, Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi is scheduled to interact with traders in Surat on Wednesday. Rahul Gandhi is also slated to be part of a candlelight vigil to mark the ‘black day’ in the evening. 

Union Textiles Minister Smriti Irani is set to meet a delegation of businesspersons from Surat in New Delhi, before leaving for Lucknow to attend programmes related to 'anti-black money day'. Irani is also scheduled to flag off a digital ‘rath yatra’ organised by traders in Delhi.

In Kolkata, the minister of state for civil aviation, Jayant Sinha, will address a meeting in support of demonetisation, while the ruling Trinamool Congress will take out protest marches. Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra will hold a series of press conferences. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday termed the note ban a big scam.

In Chennai, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will address meetings. While the ruling All India Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) has decided to be neutral, the opposition Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) has said its chief MK Stalin will lead the protests, along with leaders of the Congress and other parties, in Madurai. The DMK has decided not to take out the protests in eight rain-affected districts. However, the DMK will protest in rest of the districts.

According to website, the Centre has also announced essay writing and painting competitions to “help create awareness and also motivate further action in this fight for the nation's future”. The notification said November 8, 2016, would go down in history as a golden-lettered day for India. It has invited entries from the public. For each of the categories, the winner will get Rs 2 lakh, while second and third prize winners will get Rs 1 lakh and Rs 50,000, respectively.

The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), the ruling party in Telangana, has decided to stay “neutral”. “We have always been neutral, keeping our distance from all parties equally,” K Kavitha, a Lok Sabha member from Telangana's ruling party, told PTI.

The Left parties will also demonstrate against the note ban across the country, as would the Rashtriya Janata Dal in Bihar. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) will hold protests in Delhi to mark it as ‘dhokha divas’. Union minister Prakash Javadekar will be in Bengaluru, Ananth Kumar in Hyderabad, and Nitin Gadkari in Mumbai. Ravi Shankar Prasad has already addressed a meeting in Bhopal and would address students of Delhi University in the capital. 

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