Thiruvananthapuram | Long queues were seen in front of ATMs in many places in Kerala today, while crowds in front of banks were relatively less even as the opposition Congress led UDF decided to observe November 17 as a ‘black day’ over the issue.
Many complained that they had to wait for more than an hour in front of ATMs to get hold of some cash to purchase essentials.
In a Facebook post, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the state’s primary agricultural cooperative banks were strong and they should be allowed to exchange banned notes.
Vijayan today met Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in New Delhi to apprise him of the difficulties being faced by the state due to demonetization.
Meanwhile the UDF, at a meeting today, decided to observe November 17 as ‘black day’ as a protest following the hardships over the currency ban.
Protest marches, sit in dharnas and public meetings will be held across the state, Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala said.
UDF leaders today visited the Reserve Bank Regional Director at his headquarters here and submitted a seven-point directive to resolve the post-demonetisation issues and end the hardships being faced by people.
After the meeting of UDF, Front leaders, including Chennithala, former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and IUML leader P K Kunhalikutty met the director, S M C Swamy and appraised him about the situation.
The leaders later said RBI authorities gave an assurance to examine their request that cooperative banks should also be given permission to exchange old currency.
The Youth Congress and DYFI activists today took out separate marches to RBI office in Kochi, protesting against the hardships being faced by people due to the currency ban.
The Kerala Human Rights Commission has sought a report from the director of health services and the superintendent of Medical college on the steps taken by authorities to ensure that patients and their relatives were not facing hardships in hospitals due to the currency crunch.
Excise officials seized Rs 28 lakh hawala notes from a Kerala State Road transport bus which came from Tamil Nadu at Wayalar in Palakkad district today, police said.
One person is being questioned, they said.