Lok Sabha

February 6, 2017

Kalyan Banerjee speaks in Lok Sabha on the Motion of Thanks on the President’s Address

Kalyan Banerjee speaks in Lok Sabha on the Motion of Thanks on the President’s Address


Madam, the President’s speech has given some rosy pictures. But it is really just half the truth, not based on any foundational facts. Fortunately or unfortunately nothing is there. With great respect to the Hon’ble President of India, in view of the Constitutional provisions, the President has to deliver his speech on the basis of the dotted lines written by the Government of India. This speech has no foundation at all.

Madam, the Hon’ble Finance Minister called the government, “a trusted custodian of public money”. After 8 November 2016 when the demonetisation came into effect, what has been done till date? We are not against the recovery of the black money, we are fully supporting you. But after demonetisation what has been done till today? I cannot withdraw more than Rs 24000 from my bank account in a week. My money which is in the bank is my property and I have a right to withdraw my property.

Under article 300 (A) of the Constitution of India: “No person shall be deprived of his property saved by authority of law”. No law has been erupted, no law has been passed by this Parliament restricting the withdrawal of money. This restriction, this imposition is violative of the article 300 (A) of the Constitution India. You cannot hold my property.

Because of demonetisation, unemployment increased to 7 percent in the week following demonetisation and 25 crore daily wage workers lost their employment. In my constituency there is a municipality called Sheoraphuli Baidyabati. In one ward alone (where population is 5000) I saw at least 200 people who used to work in Mumbai or Kerala have come back because of unemployment. 150 people have lost their lives due to demonetisation.

Cooperative banks are also not allowed to exchange demonetised notes. Cooperative system is a movement of the country. It has not come within one day. Gandhi ji’s dream was in two fields – agriculture and cooperative. This movement has grown in this country for 70 long years. That is the reason different states have cooperative laws. Today demonetisation has made these cooperative banks useless.

The poorest of the poor people of the country take loans from the cooperative banks, not from the nationalised banks. The farmers have no money to buy seeds or fertilizers. I will just give you one example. Two weeks back I went to my constituency, where there is place called Jangipara, a remote rural place. There I met few farmers who had a good crops. I asked them they must be happy with their products. But they told me they are unable to sell them because of cash crunch. They are unable to sell even at a  rate of Re 1 in the village itself.There is none to purchase because the money is not available. That is the reason that they cannot purchase.

In the auto sector, sales have reduced to 18.66 percent for four wheelers, 8 percent reduction for two wheelers and zero sale in the second hand car. This is the effect of demonetisation.

You recover black money; we will support you. Tell us how much black money you have recovered. Give the figure. There was a promise of the Hon’ble Prime Minister before the election that black money will be recovered from outside the country and it will be distributed. Two years six months have passed, yet no money has come back. All the tall promises he makes, he fails to deliver; he can’t implement them.

Madam, now I come to a very important point. Crime has gone up like anything in Delhi. I’m giving you just a few details on the issue. In 2013, the number of heinous crimes was 4,159; in 2015, it went up to 11,187; and upto November 30, 2016, it was 7,620. Crimes against women have increased by 20 per cent in 2015. The 2016 figure has not come yet. We know Delhi is the capital of the country; now, under the leadership of the Hon’ble Prime Minister, Delhi has become the crime capital of the country.

Now, Madam, Beti Bachao Beti Padhao has been mentioned in the speech. Our Hon’ble Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee introduced Kanyashree scheme much before the introduction of Beti Bachao Beti Padhao. How much was allocated for Beti Bachao Beti Padhao for the entire country? You have allocated Rs 200 crore. In West Bengal, under the Kanyashree Prakalpa, Mamata Banerjee has allocated Rs 1,000 crore. You have to look at the reality; don’t just give slogans, don’t make yourself a Picture Minister, but implement schemes properly, give proper slogans.

If you really want to do something for women, please do, I respect the portion about woman power. Madam, our women desire equal opportunities. Madam, we are believers in Maa Durga, we are believers in Maa Kali, we are believers in Maa Jagadhatri, we are believers in Shakti. We respect women, we pay our respect and homage all the time, we perform pujas to these goddesses all the time.

Madam, if our women deserve equal opportunity, then I would like to ask through you to the Parliamentary Affairs Minister who is present here, why don’t you bring in the Women’s Reservation Bill, which is still pending from 2008. If you really want to give women equal power bring in the Bill and we will fully support you. We will empower women.

I believe that women of this country are not only born for the purpose of giving birth to a child or for the purpose of cooking. I believe that a woman has to stand with her own two feet. I believe that the women should fight along with the men. I believe that women should be at par with men. Bring that law in this country.

Madam, regarding the ‘Ek Bharat, Sreshth Bharat’. India has always been one and sreshth. But they want to believe Bharat became sreshth only after Narendra Modi became the Hon’ble Prime Minister. The Preamble of the Constitution of India says, “We the people of India”, therefore which means India is one since 1947.

Madam, Article 1 of the Constitution of India says, “India, that is Bharat, shall be a Union of States”. Therefore, India was one since 1947 and not after 2014. I don’t understand this slogan at all. There is no meaning to this slogan. Slogan-baazi will not achieve anything. Let us make India the best country in the world.

Madam, I want to speak regarding the federal structure. After 2014, in the last two years, the federal structure is being interfered with. Under what provisions of law, the Hon’ble Prime Minister gets the power to bypass the State government to interact with the District Magistrate of India. Does he want that every District Magistrate and every IAS officer will be under his control? This is not the spirit of the Constitution of India. He is interfering with the federal structure of India. The present Prime Minister of India is disturbing the federal structure of the country. He is acting as an autocrat. He is taking away the jurisdiction and power of all the States.

What is demonetisation? It is nothing but a great illustration of a financial emergency. We have seen emergency in 1975. Now we are facing the financial emergency in the country.

Sir, every year there are torn promises. The President’s speech over the years is full of promises but are not being implemented.

I’m coming to paragraph 64 – One nation, One election. Madam, maybe this is a very holistic approach but it cannot be implemented at all because our country we have had coalition governments since 1996. It is only in 2014 that BJP alone got simple majority. There are different regional parties in different states where different alliances are forming the government. At any time if the government may fall, alliances may fail. Then do we wait for 3 or 4 years? This hits the basic structure of the Constitution of India. Nobody has the right to change the basic structure of the Constitution of India.

Madam, we and I personally supported the National Judicial Appointments Bill, and have appreciated that several times. The Supreme Court has struck that down. Why? It was changing the basic structure of the Constitution. The Election Commission of India called a seminar; I represented my party and put our party’s views there.

Digital India is only a slogan. Sadly we do not get connectivity even here in Delhi. I was in Patna on Saturday where my daughter faced immense problems with payments on her debit card which later had to be paid in cash. Hence, the success of digital payments totally depends on the availability of the internet itself. If the internet is not there, then these are blank slogans. First tell your ‘call-drop’ ministers to set up the infrastructure.

We are only hearing big talk and seeing large pictures of only one person all over India. How much money have you spent in the publicity of this one person?

In the upcoming election’s results, the poorest of the poor people of the country will prove how much unpopular your prime minister has become due to his maladministration.

Madam, I am grateful to you for giving me indulgence. Thank you.