Rahul Gandhi challenged PM Modi for a debate on demonetisation in Parliament. While Modi is yet to speak in Parliament, he said plenty on this topic in public
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his address to the nation on the eve of new year described demonetisation as a “historical suddhi yagna" and thanked people for their patience and resolve in shaping the future of India. Modi announced new sops for farmers, middle classes, women, and senior citizens, while also stressing that his administration will now focus on restoring normalcy in the banking system.
Since his decision to demonetise old Rs500, Rs1,000 currency notes, Modi has spoken on the issue through his radio programmes, public rallies and other platforms.
Here is what PM Modi has so far said on the issue:
■ 31 December: “Demonetisation is a historical suddhi yagna,"said the PM in his address to nation on the eve of New Year.
■ 28 December: “You gave me the work of a chowkidaar (guard) but now when I am doing my work, some people are bothered. Kala dhan (black money) and kala mann (ill intent) both have damaged this country and both should go," said during a public rally in Dehradun, Uttarakhand.
Earlier during a NITI Aayog meeting, he told economists, “When revenues are not properly spent, he wants to evade the taxes."
■ 26 December: “The law against benami property was passed in 1988 but it never got notified. However, this law will be put to use in the coming days to fight corruption. We have reshaped the laws in benami property Act with strong provisions. I got feedback about the hardships that people are facing due to the note ban but at the same time people also wrote to me saying that they support this step.
“All kinds of rumours like rise in salt prices, banning of the Rs2,000 notes were being spread but it didn’t weaken people’s resolve and they fought against those misleading the public. I applaud their spirit and will fight corruption with more stringent steps. Being a sensitive government we changed demonetisation rules based on the public’s feedback," said Modi in his last radio address ‘Mann ki Baat’ of 2016. He is going to address the nation on 31 December.
■ 24 December: “We will not take decisions for short-term political point scoring. We will not shy away from taking difficult decisions if those decisions are in the interest of the country. Demonetisation is an example. It is a short-term pain but will bring long term gain," said Modi in Mumbai.
■ 23 December: “Manmohan Singh said that how can people go cashless in a country where 50% people are poor. By saying this is he giving his report card or my report card? Poverty is his legacy and my government has been dealing with its burden. Similarly, Chidambaram had also said that 50% of the country’s villages do not have electricity, who is responsible for that? When they say large parts of India did not get access to education, whose report card are they giving?" said Modi, while speaking at the foundation stone laying ceremony of Mahamana Pt Madan Mohan Malaviya Cancer Centre in Varanasi.
■ 16 December: “The people of the country should make digital economy a way of life. This will be empowering, it will give the poor people their rights and also help combat the evils of black money and corruption...Earlier governments used to engage in corruption like the Congress’s 2G and 3G scams and the opposition used to make an honest appeal against it. But now, it is the reverse. The ruling party is taking steps to combat corruption and the opposition is speaking against it," said Modi at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s parliamentary party meeting.
■ 11 December: “Parliament has not been allowed to function for 20 days. We are ready for a debate (on demonetisation) but we are not being allowed to present our view point by those very parties that have been discarded by the electorate," the PM said at BJP’s ‘Parivartan Yatra’ through mobile phone from Lucknow after the IAF chopper carrying him failed to land in Bahraich due to poor visibility.
■ 10 December: “I have decided to speak my words in jan sabha since I am not being allowed to speak in Lok Sabha. This government has taken the tough decision of demonetization to empower common people not for the wealthy people...Don’t waste your time standing outside bank branch or ATM. Use E-wallet and E-banking on mobile, which is your bank now," Modi said addressing a farmers rally in Gujarat.
■ 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. 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.