NEW DELHI -- Unfazed by the absence of leaders of the Left, JD(U), SP and BSP, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee along with some regional parties on Tuesday sought to put up a united face raising the pitch against demonetisation by demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
After the eight-party meeting, the leaders also sought a probe into the issue of "personal corruption" of Modi with Gandhi insisting that a "free and fair" inquiry was needed to maintain the credibility of the Prime Minister's post.
Banerjee, whose presence rescued the Congress' plan of replicating the opposition unity witnessed in Parliament recently on the note ban issue, virtually stole the show by placing the resignation demand, a position subsequently echoed by Gandhi.
Both Gandhi and Banerjee spoke of a "common minimum agenda" being evolved to take the opposition unity forward even as he downplayed the absence of several other parties, including the Left, from Tuesday's meet which preceded the press conference.
The Congress leader said, "It was on the Prime Minister's personal initiative that this arbitrary financial experiment was carried out for the first time in the world history that affected 1.3 billion people. Such an experiment was never done even during Mao's reign in China."
Representatives of RJD, DMK, JD-S, JMM, IUML, AIUDF as well as the Congress and Trinamool Congress were present at the meeting.
Gandhi also claimed that demonetisation has made no impact on black money and dubbed it as "an attack on financial independence" and poor people of the country.
"PM should come out with the real aim of demonetisation and answer who is responsible for the suffering of the poor and what is he doing for those who have been hit. The aim of demonetisation has failed.
"The Prime Minister says he is fighting corruption but he is not answering the questions raised about him. The Prime Minister should be the first person to say that since there are charges against him there should be a free and fair probe," the Congress leader said.
Asked about former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit's name figuring in the same documents, Gandhi replied, "Sheilaji herself is saying that she has no problem with an inquiry. Why isn't Narendra Modi-ji saying that?"
While there are many names in 'Sahara diaries', PM Modi's name appears clearly in the e-mail of Vice President of Aditya Birla group.Rahul Gandhi
The parties whose representatives were present at the Tuesday meeting were RJD, DMK, JD-S, JMM, IUML and AIUDF, besides the Congress and Trinamool Congress.
In the just-concluded Parliament session, Gandhi brought together a total of 16 opposition parties on the note ban issue, some of which distanced themselves after his meeting with the Prime Minister on December 16 on farmers' issues.
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