Patna: In pursuance of party chief Nitish Kumar support to demonetisation, JD(U) has decided to keep off
from the nationwide protest by Opposition on Monday against the scrapping of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes as well the dharna to be held by TMC chief Mamata Banerjee here on 30 November.
"We have supported and welcomed the Centre's demonetisation move. Then how can we oppose or be the part of activity like bandh which is meant to protest the issue which our party has strongly supported," Bihar unit JD(U) President Bashishtha Narayan Singh told PTI.
Singh attended a high-level party meeting held by party president and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar last evening to take a decision on Monday's stir called by Opposition parties to corner the Narendra Modi government over the ban on denomination currencies to fight black money.
The meeting chaired by Kumar was attended by senior party functionaries KC Tyagi, RCP Singh, Harivansh, Bashishtha Narayan Singh, Pawan Verma, Rajiv Ranjan Singh alias Lalan Singh and others.
In addition to keeping away from the 28 November agitation, JD(U) would not participate in Banerjee's dharna in Patna on Wednesday to demand roll back of demonetisation.
"JD(U) will not be part of any agitation against demonetisation including the dharna of Mamata on 30 November in Patna," party Secretary General KC Tyagi said.
"We have taken an ideological position in favour of demonetisation so how can we be part of any agitation seeking its roll back," Tyagi said while stating his party's stand on the proposed agitation as well as the sit-in by TMC chief, who is on the forefront of agitation against demonetisation.
Kumar on Friday had said that he had a talk with Mamata only before her visit to Rashtrapati Bhawan to meet President Pranab Mukherjee against the demonetisation. "She had spoken to me before going to Rashtrapati Bhawan and I had pointed to her that even the President has supported demonetisation," Kumar had said about parleys with Banerjee.
The party's stand has been clear on the issue of demonetisation from day one, Singh said adding the Centre's move had actually strengthened conviction of JD(U) which had been fighting against black money and corruption since the days of socialist leaders.
The party, however, believes that the hardship caused by cash-crunch to the common people could have been avoided with efficient and effective management, he said adding, "we'll certainly raise the issue of inconvenience and hardship being faced by the people at an appropriate forum including Parliament".
While the JD(U) has decided to keep distance from any agitation of its allies in Bihar, coalition Congress and RJD have decided to support it.
The state JD(U) chief Bashishtha Narayan Singh said that Nitish Kumar had also conveyed party's decision to the leaders of alliance partners i.e. RJD chief Lalu Prasad and state Congress chief Ashok Choudhary on the issue of demonetisation.
"This is a coalition govenrment which is confined to Bihar only...But parties are free to take their own stand," Singh said.
Kumar had dismissed report of "confusion or fissures" in the grand alliance in Bihar over demonetisation due to divergent views of Congress and RJD on the issue of scrapping of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes.
"The grand alliance is only in Bihar and on issues concerning Bihar. On issues outside the state, every party is privy to its own viewpoint...there is no confusion or fissures in coalition," Kumar had told reporters in his state Assembly room on Friday.
Asked whether JD(U) and BJP are coming together, Singh rubbished it as "baseless" and said that "the issues on which JD(U) had differences with BJP is still there...We are opposing the Central government as it has failed to provide any relief to the common people".