Chidambaram, Manmohan Singh were not available to counter demonetisation in Parliament: TMC

ANI | Updated: Nov 23, 2017 20:20 IST

New Delhi [India], Nov 23 (ANI): The Trinamool Congress (TMC) on Thursday said that former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and former union finance and home minister P Chidambaram were not available to counter the Centre in parliament on the issue of demonetisation.

TMC MP Derek O Brien has revealed this in his latest book "Inside Parliament Views from the Front Row".

"I thought in the speaking order, the Congress party can choose whoever they want to that is their prerogative. I just felt it was important that Manmohan Singh to have spoken there is an essay which explains how he didn't speak," O'Brien told ANI in an interview.

"The opposition had done a good job to put the government on the defensive. But on day two, we still needed a Congress heavyweight to deliver some punches. Chidambaram had made himself unavailable, and it was left to the Trinamool MPs to urge some influential Congress members to bring in Manmohan Singh," according to an excerpt from the book.

He added that the TMC even offered its space to Congress.

He mentions in the book "We offered to drop down in the batting order (give up our speaking slot), should the former prime minister be willing to speak. His name was not in the original list submitted by the Congress. But the debate needed to move from fourth gear into overdrive."

"Manmohan Singh spoke on November 24. The House heard him in rapt attention. The way the scheme had been implemented, he assessed, would hurt agricultural growth, hurt small industry and hurt all those in the informal sector. He dismissed it as 'organized loot' and 'legalized plunder of the common people'. Finally, the Congress was taking a stand."

The TMC, the Congress and other opposition parties like the Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party, DMK, NCP, RJD and National Conference launched joint protest against the move.

O'Brien propounded a theory to stop the BJP in 2019.

He said: "Theory I am propounding is that in 2014 what worked, Mamata didi defeated BJP very badly in Bengal, Jaya in Tamil Nadu and Naveen Babu in Odisha, If you take the BJP on in the local idiom , local language, local understanding then you make 29 state elections to take on BJP that's the time BJP will be in trouble."

"We have to stick to issues and not allow them to do polarisation, take them on jobs, economy, demonetisation, GST and underperformance," O'Brien added. (ANI)