November 22, 2016
Running the House is the responsibility of the Govt: Sudip Bandyopadhyay
In conversation with Sudip Bandyopadhyay, Leader of the party in Lok Sabha
1. Trinamool have been in the forefront of the movement against demonetisation. How did Mamata Banerjee react so correctly and so fast after the announcement?
Sudip Bandyopadhyay: The moment you are asking me this question, I am watching the results of three bypolls in Bengal. What a massive victory. She enjoys the support of the people. I believe, Mamata Banerjee is the only leader in the whole country who can gauge the pulse of the people.
Mamata Banerjee was the first person to raise her voice against the draconian decision of demonetisation. And now, as we can see, several Opposition parties have come together to protest on this matter of national importance.
2. More than a dozen parties are in a dharna tomorrow at Gandhi statue outside Parliament. What is the objective?
Sudip Bandyopadhyay: We want to expose the government. In the name of a good cause (curbing the use of black money) they have hastily and shoddily implemented the demonetisation of 500 and 1000 rupees notes.
The downtrodden people of the society – the farmers, the labourers, tea garden workers, jute mill workers among others – are suffering. The common people have been severely affected. It is unimaginable. People are forced to stand in queues to collect their own money from banks and ATMs.
3. You spoke in Lok Sabha today. Please update us what happened in the Lower House.
Sudip Bandyopadhyay: I categorically demanded to know why the government is not ready for a discussion on demonetisation under adjournment motion. I requested the Hon. Speaker to rise to the occasion. Even the MPs of AIADMK supported the demand for discussion under adjournment motion.
There is unequivocal support for the adjournment motion. This is on record on the floor of the House. Normally the support of 50 MPs is required for an adjournment motion. Right now, almost double the number of MPs want a discussion under adjournment motion. I fail to understand why it is not being allowed. In my long experience as a lawmaker, I have never seen this kind of a situation.
4. With due respect to the Constitutional position of Lok Sabha Speaker, we have observed that the Lok Sabha Speaker normally does not like to adjourn the House even if people are in the well. This time we noticed she is adjourning the House quite easily. Why do you think so?
Sudip Bandyopadhyay: The impression we have gathered is that the government is building pressure on the Speaker. They have a positive role to play in the House, which they have failed to do. When people are suffering and many lives have been lost, it is incumbent on the Parliament to hold a discussion. It is the responsibility of the government to see that the House runs properly.
In this situation, only Mamata Banerjee’s movement is showing us a ray of hope.
Today several Opposition leaders met and decided to hold joint protests tomorrow near the Gandhi statue outside Parliament. Our leader and Hon. Chief Minister of Bengal, Mamata Banerjee has extended her full support to these protests.
5. One last question. Opposition parties are joining the protests tomorrow. What is the message do you want to give through these protests?
Sudip Bandyopadhyay: The government must have a much broader outlook while dealing with demonetisation. We believe sustained protests will bring results. Tomorrow is just a beginning. The instruction from our leader Mamata Banerjee is that whichever political party sends us a proposal to launch a movement against demonetisation, Trinamool Congress will try to stand by them and extend all possible help and support.