New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been facing criticism from the Opposition since his surprise announcement on 8 November to ban Rs500 and Rs1,000 currency note. The Opposition is demanding Modi to make a statement on the demonetisation drive in Parliament’s winter session followed by voting on the issue. But the government has been reluctant so far to agree to a debate with voting as well on Modi ’s speech. Meanwhile, Modi has not been shying away from speaking his mind outside Parliament. This has irked the opposition benches even more.
Here is what Modi has so far said on the issue:
27 November: “After accumulating black money, they are now using the poor to bring their black money back in the system. I appeal to them that please don’t use the poor and don’t make them put your black money in their bank accounts. The government is implementing the benami property Act and it will create more trouble for people holding such property,” said Modi speaking on his radio show Man ki Baat linking demonetisation to corruption of the privileged and warned those using the poor to launder their illegal wealth.
Later at an election rally in Uttar Pradesh, Modi targeted the opposition afresh. Referring to their proposed protest on Monday, he said, “We want to shut down corruption and they (opposition) want to shut down the country.”
25 November: “I want to protect the rights of poor and middle class. People are forced to pay bribe in schools, hospitals and when they want to buy land. I am thankful for the support of people in the fight against black money and corruption,” the Prime Minister said at a rally in Bhatinda.
22 November: “Demonetisation is not the end but beginning of our deep and continuous struggle against black money and corruption,” Modi said while addressing the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) parliamentary party meeting on 22 November. He also asked MPs to reach out to the people to counter the Opposition misinformation on demonetisation.
Later, at a book release function in memory of late BJP leader Kedarnath Sahni, Modi said, “Some people are criticising saying the government did not make ample preparation. I think that is not the issue that the government did not make ample preparation. I think the pain of such people is that the government did not give a chance to make any preparation.”
13 November: “I was given a mandate to fight against black money and corruption in 2014 and I am doing that. I was not born to hold chair. My countrymen, I left my family, home and everything else to serve the nation,” Modi said in Goa after laying the foundation stone of a new international airport at Mopa.
8 November: “To break the grip of corruption and black money, we have decided that the five hundred rupee and thousand rupee currency notes presently in use will no longer be legal tender from midnight tonight, that is 8th November 2016. This means that these notes will not be acceptable for transactions from midnight onwards. The five hundred and thousand rupee notes hoarded by anti-national and anti-social elements will become just worthless pieces of paper. The rights and the interests of honest, hard-working people will be fully protected.”