Note ban destroyed terrorism, human trafficking, drug mafia: PM

PM Narendra Modi
The effort to build a narrative, both for as well as against, the ‘note ban’ decision in the run-up to the Assembly polls to five states went up a notch on Tuesday with a public rally of Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi in Uttarakhand and a joint press conference of several Opposition parties here.

If the Opposition parties, led by Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee and Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi, continued with their effort to dent the credibility of the PM and up the ante in the coming days against demonetisation, Modi lashed out at the Opposition for defending the corrupt at the well attended public rally in Dehradun.

Modi said note ban was to get the money that belongs to the poor back into the government treasury. PM said he has launched a ‘cleanliness campaign’ against corruption and black money and the decision has “destroyed” fake currency racket, terrorism, human trafficking, drug mafia and underworld. This was PM’s last public rallly before the end of the 50-day deadline of note ban, before his January 2 rally in Lucknow.

In a response to Gandhi’s comments that his government was helping the rich,   he  spoke at length about the various pro-poor schemes by the BJP-led government at the Centre. Uttarakhand goes to polls in February-March.

He laid the foundation stone of all-weather roads for pilgrimage connecting the Chardham – the 900-km Chardham Highway Development project. It will need investment of Rs 12,000 crore to connect Badrinath, Gangotri, Yamunotri and Kedarnath. The sites suffered in the 2013 floods.

Modi said the people of this country didn’t give him a majority government to in 2014 “cut ribbons, light earthen lamps and inaugurate small projects” but to be a chowkidar (watchman) against corruption and black man.

“But some people are upset now that I am doing my job and that I have struck at the ringleader of the thieves,” he said. Modi again brought up his recent stress on how those with unaccounted money are being caught with wads of currency notes. “Corruption runs in the blood of some. They used underhand tactics to convert their money and thought Modi cannot see. But we knew and now they are being caught,” he said referring to various raids by law enforcement agencies on black money hoarders.

He acknowledged the pain and inconvenience the people have suffered because of note ban, and thanked them for standing by him. Modi said his fight was for the honest people of the country, that he was in their debt and will do his utmost to repay that debt.

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel