Shiv Sena protesting against BJP; Congress fights NCP: Political allies at loggerheads over demonetisation issue

After taking repeated digs at the Centre over demonetisation, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Thursday dubbed the move as "extortion of common man" and asked the BJP to take former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's words on the issue seriously as it came from a "renowned economist".

"I will not hesitate in taking a critical stand on the process in which demonetisation was implemented," Thackeray told reporters in Mumbai.

File image of Narendra Modi. AP

File image of Narendra Modi. AP

He said there was no point in Modi becoming emotional at a time when people have tears in their eyes. "One person cannot take a decision for 125 crore people. Before taking the decision to demonetise the currency, people should have been taken into confidence," he said.

But Shiv Sena and the BJP, who together formed the government in Maharashtra and also govern the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), are not the only allies who are not seeing eye to eye on the issue of note ban.

According to a report in Hindustan Times, the Congress on Thursday questioned Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar about his party's stand on demonetisation.

According to the report, Sanjay Nirupam, chief of Mumbai Congress, said that Pawar has been changing his stand on the decision. He said NCP first welcomed the decision on demonetisation on 8 November, but while addressing a rally on Sunday, he criticised the decision as 'economic emergency.

The State Congress has maintains that farmers have been adversely affected by demonetisation. In Bihar, while Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has supported demonetisation, leaders of the Congress and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) have been against the move.

The Bihar Congress on Wednesday said the party can walk out of the state's ruling Grand Alliance if ordered by its high command.

"The Congress joined the Grand Alliance — comprising the Janata Dal-United, RJD and the Congress — on the directive of its high command and is ready to break free if the party top brass ordered," Congress Bihar unit President Ashok Choudhary told the media in Patna.

The Congress leader's remarks come amid reports that RJD chief Lalu Prasad is angry with Kumar for his vocal support of Modi's demonetisation decision. The Grand Alliance came to power in Bihar a year ago after defeating the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance in the assembly polls.

While Kumar has supported demonetisation repeatedly in public, Lalu has been opposing it. The Bihar Chief Minister, who is also the JD-U President, even differed with his own senior party leader and former JD(U) president Sharad Yadav over the issue.

Nitish Kumar again said on Wednesday that the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes will force out the black money from the economy. However, he said, the Centre should take all steps to avoid inconvenience to the people.

With inputs from agencies

Updated Date: Nov 25, 2016 15:51 PM

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