Kolkata: Accusing the Modi government of turning the people of the country into beggars by the demonetisation move, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said she would meet President Pranab Mukherjee on November 16 to discuss the issue, irrespective of whether other parties join her or not. "Tomorrow I am meeting the President on demonetisation issue. I will be meeting him with 40 of my MPs."
"I have spoken to various political parties. I have spoken to Rahul Gandhi, Nitish Kumar, Naveen Patnaik, Mulayam Singh Yadav and Arvind Kejriwal. If they want to join me, it is good. If not, then I will go alone with my MPs. National Conference leader Omar Abdullah is likely to join me," Banerjee told reporters at the airport here before leaving for New Delhi.
Asked about some political parties' comments that it was too early to meet the President on the issue, she said, "It is their choice. You need to call the doctor before the patient is dead. There is no use of calling a doctor after a patient has passed away. You need to meet the President right now. I want all political parties to meet the President," she said. "I am ready to stand behind. Let them (other political parties) take the front stage but they should meet the President," she said.
Banerjee's move to play a pivotal role in uniting the opposition against BJP has been throttled by CPI(M) with its general secretary Sitaram Yechury yesterday stating that the party will wait to see what position the government takes in the matter in Parliament on the issue and "who stands where".
She remarked, "There are thousands of areas where there are no proper banking or post office facilities. What will the people there do ? The people of this country have been turned into beggars due to demonetisation move."
Later, in a tweet, Banerjee charged the central government with pursuing discrimination in dealing with the demonetisation issue. "Old Rs 500/1,000 notes allowed in railways, petrol pumps. NHAI exempted. But no exemption for state sector agriculture, co-operatives. No exemption for patients in private hospitals, nursing homes or for non-prescription medicines. Why this discrimination ? The situation is serious. Very grim. People are suffering," she tweeted.