Left shutdown against note ban paralyses Tripura
Agartala: Life was crippled in Tripura on Monday due to a Left-called 12-hour shutdown to protest against demonetisation of high value currency.
The dawn-to-dusk strike was called by the ruling Left Front led by the Communist Party of India-Marxist. Police said more than 1,500 activists of political parties were arrested for picketing in front of government offices and railway stations.
Government and semi-government as well as private offices, banks, educational institutions, shops and business establishments were closed due to the strike. All vehicles, except those of security forces, went off the roads. The protest did not affect flights in and out of Agartala.
Train services between Tripura and the rest of the country were affected as Left workers blocked several trains in different locations. “The shutdown is peaceful,” police spokesman Uttam Kumar Bhowmik told IANS.
Opposition parties, including the Trinamool Congress and Congress, opposed the shutdown and instead decided to stage protest rallies on the same issue. BJP workers held several rallies in different parts of Tripura opposing the strike. “The strike was total, successful and spontaneous,” Tripura Left Front convenor and former Lok Sabha member Khagen Das said.
Das, a former Health and Revenue Minister, said the people, especially the poor as well as small and medium traders, were the worst victim of the Modi government’s demonetisation decision.
Normal life in Kerala crippled by shutdown
Thiruvananthapuram: The shutdown called by Kerala’s ruling LDF on Monday appeared to be total as only private vehicles plied, offices registered minimal attendances, and normal life was crippled.
While the leading national opposition parties called for a nationwide protest the aftermath of the demonetisation, in Kerala the ruling Left Democratic Front government decided to organise a dawn-to-dusk shutdown.
The shutdown was called to denounce the demonetisation of high value currency which has left the cooperative banks in the state in turmoil. Even though it was a state-wide shutdown, the organisers have left tourism activities and also the banking establishments out of the ambit of the call. They have also sought the pilgrims to the famed Sabarimala temple to be left unaffected by the shutdown. Attendances in banks were poor, as vehicular traffic was affected.
Civil society, commoners join Mamata in massive protest rally
Kolkata: With film personalities, writers, musicians, sportspersons, and other eminent persons matching steps, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday led a massive rally here to protest the union government’s demonetisation initiative.
Middle-class housewives, youths, industrial workers and common people from all other strata of the society joined the civil society and professionals like lawyers, doctors and others in the rally as Trinamool Congress chief Banerjee herself raised slogans against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government.
Taking a hand-held mike, Banerjee, draped in her usual white cotton saree, shouted “Narendra Modi hai hai, Modi Sarkar hai hai” and “Tanashahi nehi cholegal” as the rallyists did a loud encore. Throughout the 2.8-km march that saw mammoth crowds lining up both sides of the roads, Banerjee responded to the people’s greetings with “namaskar” and egged on the participants.
Ministers and senior Trinamool leaders all took part in the march that began from College Street at noon and culminated at Dorina Crossing an hour later.
Matinee idols Dev and Soham, filmmaker Arindam Sil, other leading figures of the Bengali cine world, painters, singers Indranil Sen, Parikshit Bala, Gautam Ghosh, football stars and theatre personalities participated in the march.
It was part of the serial protests organised by the Trinamool against the Modi government’s decision to scrap Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes, ostensibly to curb black money and terrorist funding.
Adding colour to the rally were a number of innovative tableaux, banners, placards and posters decrying demonetisation and underscoring its harmful impact on the people.
Opposition protests in Goa against demonetisation
Panaji: Opposition parties, including those aligned to the Left, staged token protests in Goa on Monday against the demonetisation of high value currency.
The parties which participated in the Jan Aakrosh Diwas protests included the Congress, Nationalist Congress Party, Aam Aadmi Party and the Communist Party of India-Marxist.
“Demonetisation may be a good move but the manner in which it was implemented has caused tremendous hardship to common people,” Nationalist Congress Party chief Jose Philip D’Souza said. Congress state President Luizinho Faleiro said that with no new lower denomination currency in ATMs and banks, the common man was facing tremendous hardship.
The Congress held a dharna near the State Bank of India’s main office in the state capital. “The economy has collapsed. There is virtually no trade going on. People cannot buy fish or groceries because they do not have small currency notes. Farmers are in distress as they cannot sell what they produce,” Faleiro said.
Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar came out in support of the demonetisation. “Goa is with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Like I have said, there is some hardship, but the step will be good for the future,” Parsekar told IANS.
The tremendous hardships being faced by the comman man, the opposition parties called shutdown to protest against demonetisation of high value currency.