PM likens parties opposing note ban to Pak helping terrorists
"Many people say I had not taken account the consequences of this huge step. In fact, the only thing that I could not take into account was the brazenness with which many political parties and leaders will come to the rescue of the corrupt.
But I am happy that this drive aimed at eliminating 'kala dhan' has exposed so many 'kale mann'," Modi said.
The Prime Minister, who was on his first tour of his Lok Sabha constituency after Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes were demonetized on November 8, was speaking at a function organised inside the Benares Hindu University campus.
Charging the opposition parties, who have been attacking the government over demonetization, with "brazenly standing in support of the corrupt and the dishonest", Modi compared their stalling of parliamentary proceedings during the latest session to "firing at the borders by Pakistan in a bid to provide cover to infiltrators".
He also hit back at former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and P Chidambaram, saying their argument that promoting cashless economy was futile due to poverty, illiteracy and electricity not reaching villages in the country "exposes" their own report card.
Reacting to his predecessor Manmohan Singh's assertion in the Parliament that a cashless economy was not feasible for the country where nearly 50 per cent of people were poor, the Prime Minister said, "I wonder whether he was giving his own report card by admitting the dismal situation.
"After all, he has not just been the Prime Minister for two terms and a Finance Minister previously. Since the 1970s he has been holding key positions".
Taking on former Finance Minister Chidambaram over his assertion that online transactions could not find wide acceptance in India since nearly half of its villages were not even electrified, Modi said "whose faults is he pointing at. Did I uproot electric poles or snap cables in villages which had electricity".
He also took potshots at Rahul Gandhi's assertion that payments through cards, online transfers etc. would face hurdles in the country due to low literacy levels, saying, "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.
"He never thinks before he speaks and he may not have realized that he has admitted the failure of the long reign of his own party."
Calling himself "Kashi ka bachcha" (a child of Kashi), Modi said, "I am, nonetheless, delighted to see that the power of this holy land has made me work and forced detractors to admit, even if unwittingly, their failures".