'Day of Rage' rupee ban protests held in India

By Andrew V. Pestano  |  Nov. 28, 2016 at 8:11 AM
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NEW DELHI, Nov. 28 (UPI) -- Thousands of people in India are protesting the government's decision to ban 500 and 1,000 rupee notes, which accounted for 86 percent of cash in circulation.

About 90 percent of India's financial transactions are done in cash. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier this month announced the currency ban but most opposition parties on Monday are holding protests over the decision in what they're calling a "Day of Rage."

Protests have been held in the cities of Kolkata, Lucknow and Bangalore, as well as in India's Kerala and Tripura states, which are ruled by India's Communist Party.

Though the opposition parties agreed to protest, they did not agree on the means -- with some calling for a strike -- or the extent to which they oppose the demonetization, Times of India reports.

Amit Shah, the president of the Bharatiya Janata Party, to which Modi belongs, said the opposition are merely opposing everything Modi is doing. Some opposition parties last week stalled Parliament and demanded Modi apologize for the demonetization decision.

"If Modi says today is Monday, they will say no, no, it's Tuesday," Shah said.

Modi announced India would pull the rupee notes out of circulation in a bid to crack down on black market and counterfeit currency. He said eliminating the legal tender will aid the country in its fight against corruption and terrorism.

Modi is encouraging Indians to increase digital payments and to use electronic banking.

"Time has come for everyone, particularly my young friends, to embrace e-banking, mobile banking & more such technology," Modi wrote on Twitter.

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