West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, one of the strongest critics of Centre’s demonetisation move, today met RBI Governor Urjit Patel and expressed concern over the hardships faced by people and "political discrimination amongst states".
"The meeting was good," Patel told reporters at the state secretariat after meeting Banerjee.
Banerjee, whose party Trinamool Congress is at the forefront of protests against demonetisation, had recently criticised Patel for being silent on people's suffering due to Centre's move.
Earlier, Patel attended a meeting of the RBI central board at the apex bank's office in Kolkata where TMC and CPI-M staged demonstrations.
When asked about the meeting, Banerjee told reporters, "I am satisfied with the meeting (with Patel)".
"I availed the opportunity to express views of the common people of the country who are facing immense hardships (due to demonetisation)... The Prime Minister, Parliament, nothing is available. No one is responding. He (Patel) is a direct man," she said.
"RBI is a big institution. We respect it. It should not be politically misused," Banerjee said.
The TMC chief also handed over a letter to Patel in which she said, "as the governor of RBI, an autonomous institution with a great history, which issues currencies to the nation, we expect you to stand up against this demonetisation onslaught against the common people of the nation at this moment of crisis, rather than falling silent and remaining opaque".
"We would also like to know from you the nature of allocation of new currency to each of the states in a spirit of transparency and accountability, since there are serious concerns of political discrimination amongst states," the letter said.
The whole country, she said, is going through "unprecedented misery and suffering" due to the "cruel misadventure" of demonetisation which has not been seen in any modern democracy.
"You are perhaps aware that already five crore workers across the country and across the sectors are facing unemployment and hunger. Unorganised sector of the country which provides 2/3rd jobs in the country has literally collapsed," Banerjee said in the letter.
"The small and medium enterprises are shutting down shops in lakhs. The massive trading sector of the economy has been brought down to its knees due to cash crunch, unable to conduct its business."
The farmers of our nation are going through a trauma never seen before and that too not due to natural calamity but due to a man-made disaster of massive demonetisation. Even the middle and large industries have dropped their production by at least 50 per cent, she added.
It is a custom for the RBI Governor to meet the Chief Minister whenever he or she visits a state and there was a formal request from Patel's office for an appointment of Banerjee.
(With PTI inputs)