Troubles triggered by the government’s demonetisation move may continue for around a month, Union home Minister Rajnath Singh said on Tuesday, describing the move as the first step towards achieving economic and social freedom.
Speaking at a rally in Haryana’s Rewari, Singh asked the people to bear with the difficulties for some time as it would usher in a bright future in the long run.
“It wasn’t a small decision. We admit that people will face hardships for at least a month but it will be beneficial in the long term. A few political parties are opposing it. But bear with it for some time. We will give you a bright future.
“India has got political freedom but we need economic and social freedom. We want economic inequality to end. The demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes is the first step towards that. It will help bring transparency in Indian politics,” he said.
The decision of scrapping Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes --- which the government said was taken to root out corruption and black money --- has resulted in long queues in front of banks and ATMs. Opposition parties have criticised the move citing the hardships of a cash-starved nation.
At the ‘Martyrs’ Rally’ organised by Rao Inderjit Singh, the minister of state for urban development and housing, he also hit out at Pakistan for betraying the trust India reposed in it after the Narendra Modi government came to power in 2014.
Singh didn’t refer to the issue of ‘One Rank, One Pension’ (OROP) even once in his speech at the rally that was also attended by Haryana chief minister ML Khattar and several ministers of the Haryana government and MLAs.
Narendra Modi had promised to implement OROP from the same venue before the 2014 Lok Sabha election, two days before he was declared BJP’s prime ministerial candidate.
Referring to Indian Army’s surgical strikes across the de-facto border with Pakistan, Singh hailed soldiers for proving that “hum idhar bhi maar sakte hain aur udhar bhi maar sakte hain” (We can kill them on either side of the border).
He said that “terrorism is the weapon of the coward” and claimed that this government which “has a strong heart” has brought down extremism and Naxalism significantly over the last two years.
Defence minister Manohar Parrikar was supposed to address the rally but he couldn’t come as he was unwell, Singh said.