Slamming the Opposition for stalling Parliament over demonetisation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday likened it to the “cover fire” given by Pakistani forces to help terrorists in infiltration and mocked Rahul Gandhi for his “earthquake” remark, saying he has “learnt to speak”.
While attacking Rahul, he said the “young leader” of Congress does not think before speaking and had unwittingly admitted to the “failure” of his party’s reign. On a brief tour of his Lok Sabha constituency, his first since announcing demonetisation on November 8, Modi asserted that the note ban will expose not only the ‘kala dhan’ (black money) but also the ‘kale mann’ (ill-intentioned people).
The Prime Minister, while addressing a function at Benaras Hindu University after launching some developmental projects for the poll-bound UP, said he had never thought that the Opposition parties would “side with the corrupt”, a reference to the stalling of Parliament. “Many people say I had not taken account the consequences of this huge step (of demonetisation). In fact, the only thing that I could not take into account was the brazenness with which many political parties and leaders came to the rescue of the corrupt,” he said.
Charging the Opposition parties, who have been attacking the government over demonetisation, Modi said it was like Pakistani forces providing “cover fire” at the border when “terrorists infiltrate into India”. Mocking the 46-year-old Congress leader, the PM said: “They have a young leader who is just learning to give speeches. Since the time he has learnt to speak, there is no limit to my happiness.” A day after Rahul accused him of taking money from Sahara and Birla groups when he was Gujarat CM, Modi said: “He (Rahul) had been going around threatening that when he speaks, there will be an earthquake. If he hadn’t spoken, there could have been an earthquake. It would have been an earthquake that people would have had to deal with for 10 years.
“There is no chance of an earthquake now that he has spoken. We can rest assured that there is no danger of the natural calamity in sight.” The PM further added: “I hope he does not say that I had indulged in some sort of black magic to make illiterate those who knew how to read and write.
- PM Narendra Modi asserted that the note ban will expose not only the ‘kala dhan’ (black money) but also the ‘kale mann’ (ill-intentioned people)
- Drawing a reference to the stalling of Parliament, Modi said “never thought the Opposition parties would side with the corrupt”
- “Many people say I had not taken into account the consequences of this huge step (of demonetisation). In fact, the only thing that I could not take into account was the brazenness with which many political parties and leaders came to the rescue of the corrupt”
- “Now, I understand for whom the entire uproar was. They have a young leader who is just learning to give speeches. Since the time he has learnt to speak, there is no limit to my happiness”
- “There is no chance of an earthquake now that he has spoken. We can rest assured that there is no danger of the natural calamity in sight”
Launching a fresh attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi over demonetisation, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday said that those standing in queues are not corrupt people as said by the Prime Minister but the poor people of India. Addressing a rally in Bahraich in Uttar Pradesh, Rahul said: “You (PM Modi) said after the note ban, corrupt people are standing in line outside bank. I want to tell you that those in queue are not corrupt but the poor people of India. Nobody in suit boot is standing in the queue.”
Reacting to Modi’s speech in Varanasi where he laughed off the corruption charges made by the Congress vice-president against him, Gandhi said you can make fun of me, “but the youth of this country has questions for you.” Weeks after claiming that he has proof of personal corruption of the Prime Minister, the Congress leader had on Wednesday alleged that illegal money was paid to Modi by Sahara when he was the Chief Minister of Gujarat. Gandhi had earlier said the proof of corruption will lead to a political earthquake and burst the balloon of Modi. Talking about his meeting with the Prime Minister on the last day of the Winter Session, Gandhi said: “Everyday our farmers are committing suicide, we went to the Prime Minister with these problems, but he did not say even one word.” He reiterated that demonetisation is not a surgical strike on black money but fire-bombing on the poor people of India.
Talking about the daily wagers’ hardships, he said a labourer buys goods with cash. He also lashed out at Modi for allowing Lalit Modi and Vijay Mallya easy escape from the country. “How many black money holders have been put in jail by Modiji? Not even one; he instead made Modi (Lalit) and Mallya run away,” said Gandhi. He said the real reason behind the move was to use the money deposited by poor people in banks to waive the loans of rich defaulters.
RJD chief Lalu Prasad on Thursday demanded the PM’s reply to charges of alleged corruption against him levelled by Rahul and said: “The allegations levelled by Rahul Gandhi against Narendra Modi of receiving huge money is even a bigger quake than talked about.”
- “Don’t mind being ridiculed as long as the PM answers citizens’ questions about his alleged corruption and takes responsibility for attacking the poor with demonetisation,” says Rahul Gandhi
- Rahul tweets a picture of a list with Modi’s name, with dates and rupee amounts next to it; the reference was to “packets of money’’ that he alleges the PM got from industrialists. “Modiji why don’t you tell us what’s in these packets from 2012/2013?”
- I’m not posing this question to you. It is the youth and poor of the country who have posed this question”
- Rahul repeated his earlier remarks about Modi “mocking” MNREGA and crippling the poor workers of the country and giving their money to financial defaulters such as Vijay Mallya and Lalit Modi
- The Congress leader said the scrapping of high-value notes was not a move against corruption and black money, as Modi claims, but against the poor