Opposition parties in India have come together to stage a nationwide protest against Prime Minister Narendra Modi's decision to withdraw high-value currency notes from circulation. More than 200 lawmakers took to the streets of New Delhi as part of their latest agitation against the government's decision.
Modi's political adversaries have said the demonstration would be held on Monday, 28 November, in a show of solidarity with the people who are suffering due to the demonetisation drive. Demonstrations and rallies are planned outside banks in both rural and urban areas of the country by the main opposition Indian National Congress (INC).
On 8 November, Modi declared Rs 500 (£6) and Rs 1,000 (£12) – the country's then highest denomination banknotes which accounted for 86% of currency circulation in value – would no longer be legal tender dealing a stunning blow to the financial world. Ever since, the cash-dependent nation, which has a vibrant parallel economy, has faced a severe cash crunch.
Yet again stepping up the attack on the government over alleged inept handling of the situation, the Congress party's heir-apparent and the current vice president, Rahul Gandhi, said the demonetisation was the "biggest impromptu financial experiment" ever done. Calling the move a "scam", Gandhi said: "Opposition is firm on its demand for a JPC [Joint Parliamentary Committee] probe into the demonetisation issue. The PM must come to parliament and sit through the entire debate on demonetisation."
The opposition has been demanding that Modi answer questions in parliament but the ruling dispensation has firmly refused. The stalemate has paralysed both houses of parliament since reconvening for the winter session earlier.
Mamata Banerjee, the chief minister of West Bengal and who has been at the forefront of the anti-Modi campaign since the demonetisation announcement, went on to compare Modi's move with Hitler's actions during her sit-in in the Indian capital.