The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) hopes to turn the narrative around the first anniversary of the Narendra Modi
decision into one between those against black money and those for it.
and 17 other Opposition
parties, including the Left parties, have already announced their plans to mark November 8
as Black Day.
had said it would highlight the impact of demonetisation
and the hurried roll-out of the goods and services tax (GST) on farmers, small traders, small and medium enterprises. These steps have contributed to job losses and economic slowdown, it said.
On Wednesday, the Congress
also criticised the Centre's announcement of infusing Rs 2.11 lakh crore in public sector banks in the next two years. Congress
leader Anand Sharma termed the move mayajaal, or a hoax, and said it was too little too late to revive the economy, which was already "on ventilator in the intensive care unit".
Sharma said instead of marking November 8
as Anti-Black Money Day, the PM should apologise to the nation for wreaking havoc on the economy with demonetisation
and a faulty GST.
The finance minister said Union ministers and senior party leaders would take part in Anti-Black Money Day
events across the country. He said leaders would highlight all the steps taken by the Modi government to curb the use of black money.
Jaitley said he cannot remember a single step that the Congress-led governments took against black money. "It is understandable that it would never be on the political agenda of their leadership. I can understand their discomfort. If there is an ideological polarisation over a debate on November 8
over the issue of the pro-excess cash economy and anti-black money, then the BJP
will definitely take it forward," Jaitley said.
Apart from the Opposition
protests, the government will also face three-day protests of all the central trade unions, barring the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)-affiliated Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh. The trade union protests are scheduled on November 9, 10 and 11. Protests by farmers' organisations are slated from November 20 onwards, to coincide with the winter session of Parliament.
The RSS-affiliated Swadeshi Jagaran Manch and Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh have also given protest calls. The Manch will hold a protest against the Centre's policies on October 29, while the Mazdoor Sangh will hold its protest on November 17.