11/29/2016, 09.23
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"Day of Rage" against rupees recall brings tens of thousands to streets

The protest was mostly peaceful. Opposition parties have called upon the population to protest the recall of the most used banknote. Premier asks party colleagues to show their bank statements to dispel doubts of complicity.


New Delhi (AsiaNews) - Tens of thousands of people took to the streets across India to protest against the recall of the banknotes of 500 and 1000 rupees which has thrown the population into poverty. Despite the massive participation and the fear of unrest, the "day of rage" organized by 13 opposition parties was largely peaceful and without violence.

More than 100 thousand people took part in protests in Calcutta in West Bengal, where the chief minister Mamata Banerjee has warned of further "riots and epidemics [of] dissatisfaction " if the economic measure of Prime Minister Narendra Modi were to continue. A further 6 thousand people demonstrated in Mumbai, the nerve center for the economy of the whole country.

Opposition parties have called upon the citizens, caught totally off guard by the budget law enacted to combat the counterfeiting of currency. Local sources report to  AsiaNews that after the initial enthusiasm, the situation has plummeted because of government mismanagement.

The worst consequences are for the middle class and the poor, who face long hours in the daily queue at counters to exchange old banknotes. Compounding the situation, following the launch of the recall, it was discovered that the members of the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party ruling party) had been informed in advance of the elimination of rupees and have had the time to protect their savings. In addition, the suppression of the outstanding debts of 63 big businessmen friends of Modi by banks has sparked further outrage among the population.

In an attempt to deflect suspicion, the prime minister has now asked party colleagues to publish their bank statements. In the meantime, however, the opposition coalition are increasingly vociferous and in recent days former prime minister, Manmohan Singh, also spoke of  a "monumental failure of management" and forecast a collapse of the economy by2%.

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