Modi vs Rahul: Note ban battle reaches UP and here are the highlights

Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Photo: PTI
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi on Monday addressed rallies at Kanpur and Jaunpur in Uttar Pradesh, respectively. Both the leaders tried to woo voters on the issue of demonetisation.

Scaling up his attack on Opposition over demonetisation issue, Modi at BJP's Parivartan rally alleged that Parliament was not allowed to function as opposition parties were trying to defend the dishonest and were running away from a debate on the issue of corruption and black money.

Attacking the Prime Minister,  Rahul Gandhi in his Janakrosh rally said 50 families in India have most of the country's wealth, courtesy Modi who takes members of their families with him in his plane on his trips abroad.

Key highlights of Narendra Modi's speech:

Our agenda is to fight for a country free of corruption and black money. But their agenda is to close (disrupt) Parliament...I am puzzled: Modi

Modi said Congress leaders have often claimed that late prime minister Rajiv Gandhi brought computer and mobile phone to the common man in India. "But now when I say mobile phone can be used as a bank, they say the poor do not have cell phone...they said people do not have bank accounts. Now they claim poor went to the bank, but there was no money...they are spreading lies." 

Modi said Congress has always shied away from being accountable to the people and recalled a saying about then AICC Treasurer Sitaram Kesri to drive home the point. "Na khata, na bahi, jo Kesri kahe wahi sahi," Modi said.

The Prime Minister said the decision to demonetise Rs 1000 and Rs 500 currency notes has shown that there are two sides in the country -- one consisting of a "handful" of people who have been defending those who exploit the middle class and snatch the right of the poor and the other comprising of those who are fighting corruption and the scourge of black money.

The PM asked people to spread the word that government is beginning a lucky draw scheme for people using cards and e wallets for purchases and merchants accepting digital payments.

Key highlights of Rahul Gandhi's speech:

60 per cent of the country's wealth is amassed by the rich. Most of the wealth is with only 50 families of the country. It is courtesy Modiji. I don't want to name these families, as you know them... Members of these families travel with the Prime Minister on his plane when he goes to the US, China..: Rahul

He said 99 per cent of the people of the country are honest who sweat it out to earn their living but "the Prime Minister mocks at them in Parliament."

Insisting that "All cash is not black and all black money is not in cash", the Congress leader said, "94 per cent black money is stashed away in foreign banks, real estate and investment in land deals and gold. But why is PM running after only the rest 6 per cent?"

Rahul alleged that Modi had waived Rs 1,200 crore loan of Vijay Mallya and Rs 1.10 lakh crore taken by 50 wealthy families, but did not care about writing off farmers' loans. The purpose of note ban was "Garib ka khincho, Amir ko sincho (extract from the poor and help the rich)".

Rahul said Modi talked about black money, fake currency and then about terror funding to justify note ban and now when all these have failed, he is talking about cashless economy. But the reality is that five per cent of the money withdrawn from the accounts will go to the pockets of Modi's friends, he claimed.

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