Chief Minister leads satyagraha before RBI

Chief Minister Pinarai Vijayan speaking during the satyagrarha in front of RBI office in Thiruvananthapuram on FridayThiruvananthapuram: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarai Vijayan is leading a satyagraha in front of RBI Office here today to highlight the crisis in the cooperative sector in the State following demonetisation.

The protest is over the cooperatives not being permitted to do transactions including exchange of notes.

Addressing the gathering, the Chief Minister said that move against cooperatives in the State was politically motivated. It would hit the economy of the State.

The cooperatives, he said, were successfully intervening in the market to supply essential articles including medicines to the people at fair prices. They had also undertaken several other initiatives including free dialysis for kidney patients.

Mr. Vijayan refuted the allegation that black money was parked in the cooperatives. Most of the deposits in cooperatives were family savings.

He criticised the Central government for withdrawing 86 per cent of the currency in a single go without providing replacements.

CPI (M) general secretary Sitaram Yechuri said that the Central government’s action was completely bizarre.  Demonetisation would fail to meet its objectives.

The general secretary noted that about 450 people have committed suicide following demonetisation. “We are demanding that Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 should be allowed to be used for transactions till other currency is available in the system.”

Mr. Yechuri said that Central government’s action was destroying cooperative system in Kerala which is backbone of the State’s economy. The restrictions on withdrawals were affecting people’s livelihoods.

The CPI (M) leader said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was taking control of people’s lives. However, it was not Mr. Modi or his government which was sovereign, but the people. “We will not allow the anarchy to continue.”

Veteran CPI (M) leader V. S. Achuthanandan noted that cooperatives were the bloodline of Kerala’s economy.