Morung Express News
Dimapur | Kohima, November 28
The Nagaland state Congress dubbed the demonetisation exercise as “egotistic diktat” at a rally organised in Dimapur on November 28 protesting against the Union government’s decision invalidating Rs 1000 and Rs 500 currency notes.
Held concurrently with other state Congress units, the rally in Dimapur was spearheaded by the Nagaland Pradesh Congress Committee (NPCC) president, K. Therie. Addressing a public gathering at the Naga Shopping Arcade, Therie slammed the Narendra Modi-led Union government for engineering a venture without considering the fallout.
According to him, it was done without proper planning and as a result, the majority of the Indian citizenry, who have no connection to ‘black money’, has been made to suffer. Slamming the cap on withdrawals, he said that the government has no right to restrict the people from using what is duly theirs and stated, “It is your hard-earned money.”
In a memorandum submitted to the Deputy Commissioner, Dimapur to be forwarded to the President of India, the NPCC held that demonetisation has affected the country to the extent of nearly paralysing economic activities.
While insufficient new and lower denomination notes and the cap on withdrawals have affected business, the NPCC said that the impact is felt all the more in a state like Nagaland, where rural citizens not used to the banking system have been made to suffer. “Failure to bring back black money is not the fault of commoners but the weakness of the government of the day and for the reason, the commoners should not be punished.”
The memorandum further contained a 2-point demand calling for monetisation of the Rs 500 and Rs 1000 denominations till new notes are sufficiently put into circulation and opening of banking services in the rural areas.
At the state capital, the Kohima District Congress Committee (KDCC) joined the country-wide protest by rallying at the Congress Bhawan. Former Congress MLA, Medukol Sophie took a dig at the Prime Minister’s call for cashless economy pointing out that 65 percent of India’s population does not have bank account. “They (BJP) have forgotten that 34 percent of the country’s population is without proper clothes and food. They should first give food and proper clothes to the population before demonetization,” he said.
Of the situation in Nagaland, he estimated that there are about a 100 banks catering on average 20,000 people per bank. However, he said that these banks are mostly located in the urban areas as against 1454 villages, while most villagers do not have bank accounts.
Seyiekuolie, also a former Congress MLA maintained, “Whatever we have earned, it is our right to spend it, to deposit it and to withdraw it. They (BJP) have taken away our rights.”
The KDCC also submitted a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner, Kohima addressed to the President of India. In addition to the 2-point demand of the NPCC, the KDCC added a third, calling for relaxing withdrawal limit. It termed the demonetisation decision as “visionless”, while stating that introducing the new 500 and 2000 notes without making available lower denominations notes has strangled the economy.