Prime Minister Narendra Modi dismissed on Tuesday the charge that big businesses were benefitting from the demonetisation drive, and said the poor are happy but some people are upset because his move has hit the “ringleader of thieves”.
A single stroke has destroyed terrorism, drug mafia, human trafficking and counterfeiting, he said at a BJP rally in Uttarakhand.
“Did you give me a full mandate in 2014 only to cut ribbons and light ceremonial lamps at inauguration ceremonies? Didn’t you elect me to combat and end corruption? Shouldn’t we fight the evil with all our might?” he asked.
He targeted the Congress for opposing his government’s decision to demonetise 500- and 1,000-rupee notes, a move that he called a campaign to rid the country of black money and corruption.
“Corruption has destroyed the country, which was known as a bird of gold. In some, corruption is in the blood. They used the backdoor to convert their money and thought Modi cannot see,” he said.
He alleged that the Harish Rawat-led Congress government has taken Uttarakhand to “a bottomless pit of corruption” and the BJP alone could bring it out if voted to power.
Drawing a metaphor for misappropriation of relief funds in the hill state, which was hit by a catastrophic cloud burst in 2013, he said even a scooter with tank for five litres could drink 35 litres.
“It is, in fact, so badly afflicted that one engine alone won’t suffice to take it out of that hellhole,” Modi said. “You will need to rev up another engine to rid the state of corruption.”
He urged people to vote the BJP to power so that “two engines” — the Centre and state governments — can work in tandem for the state’s development.
Modi also referred to the OROP (One-Rank-One-Pension) scheme for ex-servicemen and saluted the defence personnel for understanding the financial constraints of the Union government and for agreeing to take the arrears in four instalments.
The Congress and BJP have been at loggerheads in Uttarakhand ever since the Centre brought the state under President’s rule on March 27 after nine MLAs of the ruling party revolted against the Rawat government and sided with the opposition. Rawat was reinstated after he won a Supreme Court-monitored trust vote on May 10.
The PM targeted the Congress while offering the Rs 12,000-crore Chardham highway project ahead of the assembly polls.