Lok Sabha elections 2019- Demonetisation right step, formalised economy: PM Narendra Modi

Demonetisation helped formalise India’s economy and it has been proved that the 2016 exercise invalidating high-value banknotes was a step in the right direction, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said.

The people who are complaining about the move are the ones who faced losses due to the note ban exercise, he said in an interview to Doordarshan and the Rajya Sabha TV on Monday night.

The Opposition has attacked Modi’s government over the exercise, citing inconvenience faced by citizens across the country even as the government says its shock move on November 8, 2016, to ban Rs 1000- and old Rs 500-notes was aimed at curbing black money and formalising the economy.

“The people who had money stashed in bags faced hardships and started crying. But it has been proved that we had taken the right step. It (the move) gave an impetus to the formal economy,” the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Twitter account quoted Modi as saying in the interview.

Modi, who is seeking re-election in this summer’s general elections, also stressed his government’s efforts for the benefits of farmers as well as the middle class.

“We believe that the middle class should get chances,” he said, adding that his government has worked towards ensuring tax relief and bringing down loan rates.

The Prime Minister also spoke at length about farmers’ welfare and the government’s commitment towards it.

The Opposition, especially the Congress, has sharpened its attack on the Centre over an agrarian distress, though the government has defended its performance and launched a flagship cash transfer scheme for farmers.

Modi also launched a scathing attack on the Congress party in the interview, touching upon the 1984 anti-Sikh riots that broke out after the assassination of former prime minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards. “Can the Congress ensure justice for the Sikh community?” he asked.

Notwithstanding political differences, everyone should keep in mind that they should not start opposing the country by opposing Modi, he said, in a message to his rivals. “It’s important that people should not start speaking against the country while speaking against Modi.”

In a dig at the Congress governments in the past, Modi said his government’s focus was to meet the basic necessities, which “should have been provided long ago”. “The Congress has done injustice to the nation,” he said.

Modi emphasised that India has today made a place for itself in the world. “We were a spectator in the past, now we are a player,” he said.

On Jammu and Kashmir, he said the National Conference and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have become “outdated”.

On the battleground state of Uttar Pradesh, which sends 80 members to the Lok Sabha, Modi said residents of the state wanted a BJP government.

“The people there understand politics well,” said Modi, who will contest the election from UP’s Varanasi.

First Published:
Apr 16, 2019 07:02 IST

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