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Politics
24 Oct 2017

Forget Black Friday, opposition to protest demonetization on "Black" Thursday

The opposition has decided to mark November 8, demonetization's first anniversary, by observing "Black Day" across the country.

Leader of opposition in RS, Ghulam Nabi Azad called it an "ill-conceived" and "hasty" decision and a "scam of the century."

Azad was flanked by rebel JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav and TMC leader Derek O'Brien.

Will the opposition's co-ordinated attempt dent Modi's popularity?

In context

Opposition to mark demonetization anniversary as "Black Day"
Why has demonetization created such a furore?

DeMo

Why has demonetization created such a furore?

The demonetization decision was announced by PM Narendra Modi on November 8, 2016 to catch the illicit rich. Overnight, he banned Rs. 1000 and Rs. 500 notes.

However, this move fell flat on its face after RBI data revealed that 99% of the cash was returned to the treasury, indicating that most "black money" was legitimized.

Opposition parties

It is Modi versus 18 opposition parties

To gain mileage from the rising anger against the Modi-led BJP government's economic policies, 18 political parties met to discuss ways to corner the government on the note ban's adverse effects, such as economic slowdown and cash crunch, and GST's implementation.

They have formed a seven-member co-ordination committee comprising leaders of the Congress, TMC, SP, BSP, DMK, the Left and dissident JD-U faction.

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Strategy

Opposition will follow "unity in diversity"

O'Brien said that political parties will "give a regional name to observe this as a 'Black Day' and will hold protests and processions."

Azad specified that as all opposing parties, which include regional parties, can't be in Delhi, the co-ordination committee decided to hold protests in every state as per parties' capacities. "Our purpose is to show our unity," he said.

Other accusations

Azad also accused the Centre of false promises

Azad said former PM Manmohan Singh had predicted that demonetization would lead to a 2% drop in India's GDP. But, his warning was ignored.

Further, Azad alleged that within a fortnight, J&K's militants were found with "new notes," proving that reform was "ineffective in counter-insurgency."

Talking about J&K, Azad said government's "unwillingness" to converse with stakeholders was costing "lives of security personnel and citizens."

Meanwhile, Rahul Gandhi has been on a roll!

Meanwhile, Rahul Gandhi has been on a roll in his criticism of Modi's economic policies. The day after he termed GST "Gabbar Singh tax," he tweeted "Congress GST= Genuine Simple Tax; Modi ji's GST= Gabbar Singh Tax = "give me this money," quoting movie Sholay.

BJP plans 'Anti-Black Money Day' on demonetization anniversary

25 Oct 2017

BJP plans 'Anti-Black Money Day' on demonetization anniversary

A day after opposition parties announced they would mark November 8, the first anniversary of demonetization, as 'Black Day', Finance Minister Arun Jaitley talked about BJP's planned 'Anti-Black Money Day'.

Party leaders will hold programs across the country to showcase the achievements of demonetization.

Congress was in power for long, but "I can't recollect a single step they took against black money", he said.

Possibility

Will this offensive dent Modi's popularity?

Following demonetization's announcement and rhetoric, BJP had become popular with the masses contributing to its massive wins in UP and Uttarakhand. It also facilitated JD(U)'s re-entry into NDA fold.

Now, as the rhetoric has waned and the reality is visible, it is possible that ahead of the Himachal and Gujarat elections, this offensive might help the opposition to shore up votes in its kitty.

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