National

Note ban just start of battle against black money: Modi

Rajnath Singh, Narendra Modi and L.K. Advani at the BJP Parliamentary Party meeting in New Delhi on Tuesday.

Rajnath Singh, Narendra Modi and L.K. Advani at the BJP Parliamentary Party meeting in New Delhi on Tuesday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday told BJP MPs that his move to demonetise currency of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 denominations, announced on November 8, was just “the beginning and not the end” of a “long, deep and sustained” battle against black money and corruption.

“In the new year, there will be a new nation,” Mr. Modi declared in an emotional speech that lasted 10 minutes, at the closed door meeting.

He was addressing the BJP’s parliamentary party even as Parliament adjourned for a second day after the Opposition’s demand that the Prime Minister make a statement in the House on demonetisation was rejected.

Unanimous praise

The BJP MPs’ meet also saw a significant speech by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on demonetisation, or what he termed “remonetisation” of certain currency, as well as a unanimous resolution by the parliamentary party (proposed by Home Minister Rajnath Singh) endorsing the move as “historic, revolutionary and pro-poor.”

Prime Minister Modi, sources said, paused at least twice to collect himself emotionally, according to those present. He went on to declare that he had not entered public life for himself, or for his relatives, but for the poor and their welfare. “ Main na apne liye aaya hoon, na apnon ke liye; main garibon ke liye aaya hoon aur unka kalyan karke rahoonga ,” he said.

“In the last 70 years (since independence) there has been an accumulation of corruption and black money. I’m here to change that systemic accumulation and changing systems has its difficulties. But the support of the people has been beyond my expectations and the whole nation is with me,” he is reported to have told the MPs.

He added that had not “hidden” his intentions to fight black money and corruption. He said that his every move had been a declaration of his intentions.

From his first speech at the BJP’s parliamentary party forum in May 2014 he had articulated his intentions to do something that would set in motion systemic changes to combat black money, he is reported to have said. “I had spoken in September about cashless economy, at that time few paid attention,” he said according to those present.

Without naming the opposition parties he said that it was their job to criticise but that BJP MPs must go among the people and counter the “propaganda” and “take forward the fight against black money, corruption and terror funding.”

Later, speaking at a public function where he released a compilation of the works of late Jan Sangh leader Kidarnath Sahni, he was sharper in his attack on the opposition. “Earlier, there used to be a moral pressure for ensuring good behaviour, now acts of corruption are done with impunity. There are those who, today, speak publicly in favour of allowing systems of corruption and black money to continue. Our future generations will not forgive us if we allow this decline in values,” he said. “There are those who can be feeble in the fight against corruption, who may not have the strength to do it, but that is different from the sheer impunity of marching carrying the banner of corruption,” he added.

The resolution passed by BJP MPs who also accorded Prime Minister Modi a standing ovation at the meeting was scathing in its reference to opposition parties, while hailing the government’s decision as “pro-poor and historic”.

“The BJP condemns the efforts by some political parties who are desperate to provoke violence and chaos and having been rattled, by the wide spread support of the people for the government’s initiative, and bent upon disrupting the proceedings of Parliament on one pretext or the other,” stated the resolution. “Political parties have to choose whether they would stand by the government and the people or protect the interests of black money hoarders,” the resolution further stated.

The debate on demonetisation is yet to conclude in the Rajya Sabha and in fact take place in the Lok Sabha.

Opposition is in favour of graft

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday sharply attacked the opposition for criticism of the demonetisation exercise. Speaking at a public function where he released a compilation of the works of late Jan Sangh leader Kidarnath Sahni, Mr Modi said, “Earlier, there used to be a moral pressure for ensuring good behaviour; now acts of corruption are done with impunity. There are those who today speak publicly in favour of allowing systems of corruption and black money to continue. Our future generations will not forgive us if we allow this decline in values,” he said.

“There are those who can be feeble in the fight against corruption, who may not have the strength to do it, but that is different from the sheer impunity of marching carrying the banner of corruption,” Mr Modi added.

Earlier addressing party MPs at a closed door meeting, Mr Modi said his every move had been a declaration of his intent to fight corruption. From his first speech at the BJP’s parliamentary party forum in May 2014, he had articulated his intentions to do something that would set in motion systemic changes to combat black money, he is reported to have said. Without naming the opposition parties, he said that it was their job to criticise but that BJP MPs must go among the people and counter the “propaganda” and “take forward the fight against black money, corruption and terror funding.”

 


Our code of editorial values

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | May 16, 2022 4:40:31 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/Note-ban-just-start-of-battle-against-black-money-Modi/article16684122.ece