Rahul Gandhi visits bank to exchange old notes, hits out at PM

Updated: Nov 11, 2016, 20:02 IST | PTI

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Friday took many by surprise when he visited SBI's Parliament House to exchange demonetised currency notes with new ones, and hit out at Narendra Modi

Rahul visits bank to exchange old notes, hits out at PM
Rahul Gandhi carries old denomination 1000 rupee notes at a bank as he arrives to exchange them in New Delhi. Pic/ AFP 

New Delhi: Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Friday took many by surprise when he visited SBI's Parliament House to exchange demonetised currency notes with new ones, and hit out at Narendra Modi saying the Prime Minister would not understand the problems people were facing due to the Centre's move. Attacking the Prime Minister, Gandhi said the government
should be for the poor and not for just 15-branch 20 persons. The Congress vice-president said that he was standing in queue as the people were suffering while exchanging their demonetised 500 and 1,000 rupee notes.

"There is no crorepati in the queue. Poor people are standing in queue for several hours. I want to say that the government should be for poor people and not for just 15-20 persons. "People are facing hardships that's why I have come to join them. I am here to exchange my Rs 4,000 with new notes," the Congress vice-president told reporters here. "Neither you (reporters) nor your crorepati owners nor the Prime Minister will understand the problems faced by people," Gandhi said. 

The Congress leader, who reached the SBI's Parliament House branch at around 4.25 PM, waited for his turn in queue to exchange his old notes. He also interacted with people standing in queue and listened to their troubles.

Rahul visits bank to exchange old notes, hits out at PM
Rahul Gandhi carries a bank form as he exchanges rupee notes of the old denomination at a bank in New Delhi. Pic/AFP

Many people took selfie with Gandhi. There was a huge crowd in the bank with people desperately trying to exchange old notes. They faced inconveniences as Gandhi reached there and some of people tried to catch a glimpse of him. Many bank staffers were also seen clicking pictures of Gandhi. He was at the bank for about 40 minutes. 

Since the announcement of demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, long queues have been witnessed outside the banks and ATMs with people desperately trying to exchange their old notes with new ones. On the second consecutive day, Delhiites found it difficult in paying for household items, essential commodities and vegetables as they ran out of savings of small currencies.

To manage anxious crowd, as many as 3,400 personnel of paramilitary and Delhi Police, along with 200 quick reaction teams, have been deployed at ATMs and banks across the national capital. While there were excited people and staffers wanting to catch a glimpse of Gandhi, many complained about his visit as there was a lot of a chaos inside the bank.

Police had to intervene as mediapersons jostled with each other to get a perfect shot of Gandhi standing in the queue in front of the exchange counter. SPG and paramilitary personnel and police formed a circle around the queue in which Gandhi was standing to keep camera persons at bay.

After he left, a man at the bank said, "Why do they have to do politics at the expense of the common man?"

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