Mamata, while addressing a rally in Lucknow, said PM Narendra Modi
had acted sly and imposed an emergency
without a formal declaration like Indira Gandhi plundered the wealth of the poor and the farmers. Leadders and activists from the ruling Samajwadi party also attended the rally.
"Through 'note bandi'(demonetisation), our democratic rights have been taken away and all economic activity has come to a standstill leading to job losses," she claimed, while wondering why the centre has not taken necessary steps to minimise hardships consequently.
Modi had promised to bring back black money stashed in the Swiss banks before the Lok Sabha polls, but the demonetisation
has deprived the countrymen of their own hard-earned money, she added.
Mamata underlined the decision was making common people suffer, especially in rural areas. She claimed India's economic growth would slip by 2 per cent, while adding that negative growth could be seen in the next quarter itself.
The AITC chief dared Modi to imprison her and asserted she would continue her fight against demonetisation
and visit Delhi again, if need be. Recently, she had met President Pranab Mukherjee over the issue and led a protest at the national capital along with other opposition parties.
Upping the ante, she termed anti-demonetisation
fight as another 'freedom struggle' and urged people to present a united front.
Speaking in her signature style, Mamata concluded her speech by exhorting the gathering to shout slogans slamming Modi and his demonetisation
policy, labelling it as an autocratic move.
Last night, Uttar Pradesh CM Akhilesh Yadav had come to receive Mamata at the Lucknow Airport, indicating a growing bonhomie between the two leaders over demonetisation.
Ahead of the 2017 polls in UP, it would be interesting to see if this leads to a pre-poll arrangement between the two regional satraps, especially as they seek to counter the growing influence of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) under Modi in their respective states.