Latest News

November 18, 2016

This has gone beyond the stage of inconvenience: Derek O’Brien on Demonetisation

Yesterday the demonetisation discussion happened in the Rajya Sabha without the prime minister being present. What changed today?

We obviously prefer the prime minister to be there for the discussion. Yesterday was day one of the debate, today is day two. That’s the minimum. Even speeches will not help now. This has now become a people’s movement. Mamatadi has fought many battles for the people. This government has to act.

Today Mamata Banerjee gave the government three days to roll back its move. What will happen after that?

Within one hour of the announcement on November 8 , Mamatadi’s instincts and her understanding of grassroots politics made her respond quickly to the impending calamity. It is time for action now. People are suffering. In the next three days something serious has to be done. Otherwise this people’s movement will intensify. Things could spiral out of control. If you deprive people of money, food and baby food, you could have a civil uprising on your hands.

Is your party going to push for a vote?

We want a vote in both Houses because this is the time to stand up and be counted. We will do all that can be done within the parliamentary mechanism to raise this issue. Some parties want a joint parliamentary committee. They are entitled to their view and we respect their view . Even on Singur a decade ago, our view was our view. Today many parties and even the Supreme Court share our view…

When will Rajya Sabha function?

Different parties have different views on how to approach the subject. The name of my party is Trinamool which means grassroots. Our thinking and actions are guided by what we can do to reduce her suffering, her pain. Restore normalcy. This has gone beyond the stage of “inconvenience”.

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal skipped your march, yet West Bengal CM Banerjee went for his meeting.

Nothing like that. This is not some ego battle. Let’s focus on the task at hand: how to restore normalcy after this government rolled out a scheme in haste. The two CMs jointly addressed a huge gathering at the sabzi mandi. Mamata Banerjee is willing to work with all for this cause. She called the CPM general secretary, we walked with parties to Rashtrapati Bhawan. We don’t mind being in the third row. It’s about solving a problem.


First published on Indian Express