Note ban: Urjit Patel heckled at airport, enters RBI through backdoor to avoid protesters

Sources in the police said as soon as Patel arrived at the N S C Bose Airport around 5.45 pm, a few men with black flags started to protest in front of his car.

 Kolkata | Updated: December 16, 2016 12:38 am

 PROTESTING AGAINST demonetisation, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Urjit Patel was heckled and shown black flags by alleged Congress workers as he arrived at Kolkata airport on Thursday evening to leave for New Delhi.

TMC supporters including Ministers protest in front of RBI, Kolkata against Demonetisation and showing black flag to RBI Governor Urjit Patel on Thursday. When Urjit Patel hold Central Board Meeting inside. Express photo by Subham Dutta. 15.12.16

TMC supporters including Ministers protest in front of RBI, Kolkata against Demonetisation and showing black flag to RBI Governor Urjit Patel on Thursday. When Urjit Patel hold Central Board Meeting inside. Courtesy: Express photo by Subham Dutta. 15.12.16

Sources in the police said as soon as Patel arrived at the N S C Bose Airport around 5.45 pm, a few men with black flags started to protest in front of his car. “He was supposed to enter the airport through gate 3C. However, Patel’s car suddenly went ahead of gate 3C… Puzzled security officials rushed after him. Patel then got down from his car and tried to enter the airport through gate 5A… By then, protestors had gathered around his car and started raising slogans. He was shown black flags and also manhandled,” said a source.

The security personnel managed to escort Patel — who was about to catch a 6.50 pm flight — inside the airport. Protesters were raising slogans like “Urjit Patel go back” and “Urjit Patel hai hai”. Earlier in the day, Trinamool Congress and CPM staged demonstrations outside the RBI office in Kolkata where Patel attended a central board meeting. To dodge protesters, Patel entered RBI “secretively” through the backdoor.

Demanding an immediate rollback of demonetisation, Trinamool MLAs and ministers took out a rally from the state Assembly to the RBI office in BBD Bagh area of Kolkata. “We will continue our protest until the draconian decision of demonetisation is withdrawn. Tomorrow as well we will organise a similar protest rally. India is a democracy and Prime Minister Narendra Modi can’t bulldoze his anti-people decision on the entire country,” state Power Minister Sovandeb Chattopadhyay told the rally.

Led by Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim and Chattopadhyay, several top ministers and MLAs carrying placards and black flags raised slogans against the Modi government. “A financial emergency has been imposed in the country, and the RBI Governor is sitting idle. Under Modi’s regime, the RBI has no function. It’s the PMO and PM who are calling the shots. Patel is just a mute spectator. We want to know the role of RBI and what are the steps they are taking. We demand an immediate rollback of the decision,” he said.

Irrigation Minister Rajib Banerjee, compared the PM with Hitler and said he was the “worst” prime minister India ever had. “We had heard about Hitler, who neither bothered to have any second line of command nor any second line of opinion. Whatever he used to say is final. Now, in this century, we are witnessing Modi, who is also a Hitler of our generation, who believes in dictatorship and one-man rule. He is not bothered about the pangs of the thousands and crores of common people, he is only bothered about his whims and fancies,” he claimed.

“Modi is the worst prime minister India ever had. Never before India has seen such as worthless prime minister. For whose interest did he take the decision to demonetise high currency notes and throw the entire Indian economy in a mess? He has to come clean on it,” Banerjee said.

The CPM, meanwhile, demanded the time limit for exchange of old notes be extended.

“RBI has lost its independence under the Modi regime. All decision are being taken and executed by the PMO. We are not demanding a rollback, rather, we want the time limit for the exchange of old notes be extended,” Left Front Chairman Biman Bose said. The protesters also raised slogans like ‘Narendra Modi hai hai’.

Left Front leader Sujan Chakraborty said, “We are not against unearthing black money. But in the name of unearthing black money, you can’t put the common people in deep trouble. We are against this… We don’t demand a rollback, rather we want that people should be given proper relief so that they don’t face any problems. More Rs 500 new notes should be made available in the banks and markets.”

In a veiled attack at Patel, he added: “With the Modi government in power, RBI has lost its independence. As a result, Patel has to play hide and seek…” He was referring to Patel entering RBI from a backdoor to avoid protesters.

Courtesy: The Indian express-

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/note-ban-urjit-patel-heckled-at-airport-enters-rbi-through-backdoor-to-avoid-protesters-4429100/

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