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Congress puts party above nation: PM Narendra Modi defends demonetisation

black money crackdown Updated: Dec 16, 2016 16:19 IST
Saubhadra Chatterji
Saubhadra Chatterji
Hindustan Times

The Bharatiya Janata Party’s parliamentary party meeting discussed the strategy to counter the Opposition’s charges against the government on Friday.(Arun Sharma/HT Photo)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi attacked the Congress and Left parties on Friday for opposing his government’s move to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1000 banknotes move, dubbing it as a war against black money.

“For the BJP and the NDA, the country is bigger than party. For the Congress, party is more important than the country,” parliamentary affairs minister Ananth Kumar quoted Modi as saying.

Asking the BJP’s MPs to go cashless, Modi pointed out how in 2012, the Supreme Court asked the UPA government to constitute a special investigating team on black money, but it did nothing for the next three years.

Read: Read my lips… I’ve information on PM Modi’s corruption: Rahul Gandhi

“They did nothing. But our first decision after coming to power was to form an SIT,” Kumar quoted Modi as saying at the BJP’s parliamentary party meeting on the last day of the winter session of Parliament.

“Left MP Jyotirmay Basu had once favoured demonetisation. But today, see what the communists are doing,” Modi said, taking potshots at the CPI(M), a vocal critic of demonetisation.

Parliament logjam
  • The winter session of Parliament, which began on November 16, is headed for a whitewash as the Opposition and government continue to lock horns over the November 8 demonetisation move.
  • Both parties have been claiming that it’s the other side that is not allowing a debate in Parliament.
  • Meanwhile, a delegation of Congress leaders gave a memorandum to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to demand relief for debt-ridden farmers.

The demonetisation move triggered a washout of Parliament’s winter session, making it the worst performing session for the BJP.

Read: Drive against black money, corruption high on my agenda: PM Modi

Modi underlined that the BJP and its NDA partners have started a “war” against the black money, while the Opposition parties are standing on the opposite side of this war.

Modi’s address to party MPs comes on a day when Opposition leaders will go to President Pranab Mukherjee to protest against demonetisation and the government’s alleged high-handedness in running Parliament.

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, who earlier levelled corruption charges against Modi, also met him as part of a delegation to highlight farmers’ plight in Uttar Pradesh.