Vol. XL No. 48 November 27, 2016

Kerala Protests against the Move to Destroy Cooperative sector

N S Sajith

THE entire state of Kerala is voicing its vehement opposition to the curbs imposed on the cooperative sector following the withdrawal of the Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes.

District and rural cooperative banks are prohibited from exchanging old notes of these values or accept deposits in these denominations even from their own customers. This has led to an unprecedented economic crisis in states like Kerala which have a strong cooperative movement.

To protest against this ill conceived move, the Left Democratic Front called for a one day protest before the Reserve Bank of India office in Thiruvananthapuram on November 18. The entire Kerala cabinet led by chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan sat on a day long protest. Thousands of people joined in the protest.

The protest was inaugurated by CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury. In his short address he warned the central government of widespread protests if immediate alternative measures to ease the sufferings of the people are not put in place.  He said that the prime minister cannot decide the way people of the country live. Under our constitution the people are supreme. The prime minister cannot decide the way people lead their lives. This is unacceptable and there will be widespread protests against this measure, Yechury said.

He added that the Kerala and Tripura governments led by the CPI(M) will take initiatives to mobilise non-BJP governments to jointly demand that the centre compensates for the loss in revenue incurred by the states on account of the withdrawal of the Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Polit Bureau member Prakash Karat, CPI(M) state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, former chief minister V S Achutanandan, CPI state secretary Kanam Rajendran, eminent historian Dr K N Panikkar along with other ministers and leaders of other LDF constituents also addressed the gathering.