Demonetisation: Who's in Mamata Banerjee's coalition of Opposition forces?

As far as demonetisation is concerned, it is not Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi or Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal who is the most prominent figure in the Opposition against the government right now.

It is West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee.

Demonetisation: Whos in Mamata Banerjees coalition of Opposition forces?

A file photo of Mamata Banerjee. PTI

And on Wednesday, she will lead the MPs of her party Trinamool Congress (TMC) in the march to Rashtrapati Bhawan to petition the president against the demonetisation of high-value currency notes. Banerjee has managed to create an opposing force against the government's move which also, to the surprise of many, includes BJP ally Shiv Sena.

South Mumbai Sena MP Arvind Sawant said Mamata telephoned his party chief Uddhav Thackeray and sought Sena's support in "voicing the concerns of the common man".

"People are being harassed and the poor are being troubled by this move. Initially, the government said the trouble will be over in 2-3 days and now the prime minister asks cooperation for another 50 days," Sawant told PTI.

Clarifying his party's stand on the issue, Sawant said Sena was not against weeding out black money. "But the process in which it is being done is not right. They (government) should have been prepared for the chaos," he added.

On Mamata's telephone call, he said, "Mamataji said she is talking to more political parties to side up against the government. Whoever wants to join us will join us. Sena will voice the concerns of the common man and side with Mamataji in Parliament for common people."

He said, "Sena will be a part of the parties that are against the process in which the (demonetisation) move is implemented. The government should have had a contingency plan (in place) before implementing the decision."

According to a Firstpost report, in an urgent meeting of party leaders that was called by Shiv Sena supremo Uddhav Thackeray, the party chief reasoned that if Modi could share the dais with their political bete noire and Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar, there is no reason for them not to go with Mamata.

It isn't just the Shiv Sena, of course.

Even the CPM — TMC's long-time arch rival — said it would like to wait to know the government's stand in Parliament first and then see "who stands where" in the House on the issue after TMC's suggestion to join hands to oppose the Central government.

And even though PTI reported that Kejriwal-led AAP is unlikely to join the march to Rashtrapati Bhawan, Kejriwal himself did meet Mamata after her arrival in New Delhi on Tuesday and discussed the demonetisation issue with her for about 40 minutes.

TMC leader Derek O'Brien said, "Omar Abdullah (NC leader and former J&K CM) has confirmed to participate in the march. Besides one or two other parties have also confirmed." He, however, did not elaborate on which these other parties were.

With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: Nov 16, 2016 10:44:38 IST

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