As part of the nation-wide protest against fiscal chaos post-demonetisation, the opposition parties in Odisha on Monday took to streets, while the state ordered a shutdown of educational institutions.
The protests did not affect normal life at large as many opposition parties, including the Congress, Communist Party of India (CPI), the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), and Communsit Party of India-Marxist-Leninist (CPI-ML), staged their protests at various banks in the state.
The Congress workers organised ‘Jana Akrosh’ (people’s outcry) rallies across the state and held demonstrations at district and block headquarters.
The ruling BJD has welcomed the demonetisation move and did not participate in the protests.
“This is an undeclared emergency by the Narendra Modi government. People are suffering a lot due to the decision of the NDA government,” said Odisha Pradesh Congress President Prasad Harichandan.
Ali Kishore Patnaik, CPI-M State Secretary, said the central government should allow people to use the old currency notes so that they do not suffer due to the Centre’s decision.
He said while the small traders are bearing the brunt, the economy of the country would collapse following the demonetisation move.
While the opposition parties organised protests, the Biju Janata Dal-led Odisha government declared a holiday for all government and private educational institutions across the state.
The government said the decision was taken for the safety and security of the students. Besides, the Home Department directed all District Collectors to keep a close eye on law and order situation during the protests.
The closing down of educational institutions irked the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party, which accused the state government of supporting the protest.
“It shows the double standard of the ruling party. On one hand it welcomed the central government decision and made some suggestions to ease the sufferings of people, and on the other hand, it closed down the educational institutions,” said Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan.
“It seems the state government is indirectly supporting the protest,” the BJP leader said.