Fri, Dec 9, 2016 | updated 05:30 AM IST

PM Modi's friends enjoying, while poor waste away in queues: Rahul Gandhi

Updated: Nov 21, 2016 12:59 IST

New Delhi [India], Nov. 21 (ANI): Asserting that only those in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's inner circle stood most to gain from demonetisation, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on Monday stated that the poor were wasting away standing in queues while the elite and rich were carrying on without any hassles.

Rahul, who went across the national capital today, meeting people standing in queues outside banks and ATMs, told the media after emerging from a turbulent Parliament session that he had been conveyed by the locals that they were in severe distress following the Centre's drastic move.

"I went to see with my own eyes what is happening and people told me that as they stood in lines, deals were being carried out behind the banks as cash was given to select few with the rich and elite are pulling ranks in obtaining the newly minted notes. This is only benefitting those close to the Prime Minister," Rahul said.

Hitting out at the Prime Minister for steering clear of the Parliament, he further said that he former does not even bother to speak to talk to his ministers when it comes to important decisions, adding in a mocking note that the Prime Minister needs a new title.

"Why should the Prime Minister show up to the Parliament anyway? He is on the next level. After all, he took the biggest economic decision in history while consulting with just a handful of people and not thinking about the consequences it would have on the common man," Rahul added.

Talking about the tragic Indore-Patna Express derailment in which more than 130 people lost their lives, the Congress vice president emphasised on the need for upgrading India's railway infrastructure and called on the Prime Minister to focus on the safety of the common man before announcing flamboyant schemes.

"PM Modi has been harping on Bullet trains, clearly his focus is in the wrong area. He needs to turn his attention to the safety and the convenience of the common man on what already exists. But the Prime Minister's only focus at the moment seems to be the bullet train," Rahul added.

Meanwhile, the Rajya Sabha was adjourned twice today as a united opposition confronted the government yet again on the fourth day of the Winter Session of Parliament over the demonetisation move.

The Parliament witnessed uproar from the opposition benches as soon as the proceedings began.

The opposition members trooped into the well of the House seeking Prime Minister Modi's reply to the decision to scrap Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 currency notes.

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley vented his ire at the opposition members for not cooperating with the government for a debate on the matter.

"The opposition not ready for debate. They are trying new tactics everyday to disrupt the Parliament proceedings," he said in the Rajya Sabha.

Communist Party of India (Marxist) general secretary Sitaram Yechury, however, hit back and stated that they were ready for a debate on the matter only after paying tributes to those who have died standing in queues courtesy this decision.

"Please move an obituary and then we can discuss," Yechury told Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien amid uproar in the Upper House.

The opposition parties want Prime Minister Modi to explain his abrupt outlawing of the old notes in the Rajya Sabha, where the government is in a minority and have been clamouring for his presence.

Meanwhile, taking the war over demonetisation to the next level, the Opposition parties have decided to protest against the Centre in front of the Gandhi statue outside the Parliament on Wednesday.

The decision was taken in the meeting called today by the Opposition ahead of the second week of the Parliament today. (ANI)