To Em­bar­rass Gov­ern­ment, Op­po­si­tion Moves 651 Changes to Mo­tion of Thanks

Oppn says govt must ac­cept its claim that note re­call was to tackle black money, ter­ror­ism has been be­lied

The Economic Times - - Pure Politics - Rav­ish.Ti­wari@ times­group.com

New Delhi: The­gov­ern­men­tis­likely to face an em­bar­rass­ment in the Ra­jya Sabha when the mo­tion of thanks to the Pres­i­dent’s ad­dress is passed. In­di­ca­tion to this was avail­able on Thurs­day, af­ter Op­po­si­tion MPs moved 651 amend­ments to the mo­tion of thanks. Ac­cord­ing to Op­po­si­tion MPs, they were keen on putting the gov­ern­ment on the mat over de­mon­eti­sa­tion by amend­ing the mo­tion to ‘ex­press re­gret’ over the Pres­i­dent’s ad­dress not men­tion­ing the ill-ef­fects of de­mon­eti­sa­tion. The Op­po­si­tion has used its nu­mer­i­cal ma­jor­ity in the Ra­jya Sabha to em­bar­rass the gov­ern­ment in 2015 and 2016 too on dif­fer­ent is­sues. Ra­jya Sabha deputy chair­man PJ Kurien an­nounced the amend­ments soon af­ter law min­is­ter Ravi Shankar Prasad moved the mo­tion of thanks on the Pres­i­dent’s ad­dress, which was sec­onded by BJP mem­ber Vi­nay Sa­hasrabud­dhe. With Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi in at­ten­dance, Kurien asked Op­po­si­tion MPs — Ch­haya Verma & Sub­barami Reddy (Congress), Visham­bar Nishad, Ki­ran­moy Nanda, Sukhram Ya­dav, and San­jay Seth (SP), Si­taram Yechury and Ritabrata Ban­er­jee (CPM), Derek O’Brien (Tri­namool), D Raja (CPI), Vi­jaya­sai Reddy (YSRCP), Nazir Ahmed (PDP) and Anil Sahni (JDU) — whether they were keen to move the amend­ments. All mem­bers re-

Vishamb­har Nishad (Sa­ma­jwadi Party)

Ch­haya Verma (Congress) Vi­jaya­sai Reddy (YSRCP) (CPM)

Si­taram Yechury (CPM)

D Raja (CPI) Ritabrata Ban­er­jee San­jay Seth (SP) Ki­ran­moy Nanda (Sa­ma­jwadi Party)

Sub­barami Reddy (Congress)

Derek O’Brien (TMC) Nazir Ahmed (PDP) plied in the af­fir­ma­tive.

Though they did not get an op­por­tu­nity to ex­plain the amend­ments, de­mon­eti­sa­tion is cer­tainly one of the is­sues that fig­ure high in the a mend­ment s move d by the Op­po­si­tion MPs. Ac­cord­ing to some of them, they plan to zero on one is­sues, prefer­ably re­lated to de­mon­eti­sa­tion, and press for vot­ing at the time of pas­sage of the mo­tion of thanks, af­ter the PM’s re­ply to the de­bate that started on Thurs­day.

That the Op­po­si­tion re­mained fo­cused on de­mon­eti­sa­tion was laid bare by leader of op­po­si­tion Ghu­lam Nabi Azad. “We can have a Guin­ness World Record of is­su­ing 135 cir­cu­lars in 50 days to im­ple­ment a sin­gle pol­icy. So ill-con­ceived was de­mon­eti­sa­tion,” Azad said participating in the dis­cus­sion on the mo­tion of thanks as the PM lis­tened to him in­tently. The Congress leader as­serted that the gov­ern­ment’s claim that de­mon­eti­sa­tion was to tackle black money, ter­ror­ism and fake cur­rency had been be­lied and sug­gested that the gov­ern­ment to ac­cept this. “While a com­mon man could hardly get Rs 2000-4000 through the front door of a bank, crores of ru­pees were ex­changed through the back doors of banks,” Azad said, adding that back­door op­er­a­tions had given rise to black money right from the out­set of re­mon­eti­sa­tion. “The gov­ern­ment must share some blame for this. We want to know how this new black money was gen­er­ated. This is only the tip of the ice­berg,” the leader of Op­po­si­tion said re­fer­ring to me­dia re­ports of huge cache of new cur­rency notes un­earthed by agen­cies from pri­vate in­di­vid­u­als even as the cash lim­its were im­posed af­ter de­mon­eti­sa­tion. SP’s Neeraj Sehkhar as well as Tri­namool’s Derek O’Brien came down heav­ily on the gov­ern­ment over the is­sue of de­mon­e­ti­za­tion, while AIADMK’s Nave­neethkr­ish­nan chose to fo­cus on Tamil Nadu cen­tric is­sues.

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