Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday strongly defended the government’s demonetisation move as a war against corrupt people in India that would continue till its victory with the support of the 125 crore people of the country.
Addressing a rally at Bandra Kurla Complex in Mumbai, Modi said while his government has launched the war from day one of assuming power, on November 8 at 8 pm it stuck a fatal blow to corruption and black money hoarders in the form of demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes.
“I had promised that the common people will have to bear the brunt of demonetisation for 50 days. After that, the sufferings of the masses will lessen, and the real problems will begin for those handful of people indulging in corruption and black money hoarders,” Modi said.
He extended an invitation to such persons to come clean, pay their tax dues and honourably join the national mainstream with the 125 crore population.
“This is the beginning of the end of the corrupt. Come back and respect the laws. I assure, we will not hang you, but you will have to shell out what rightfully belongs to the people of this country,” Modi said.
The Prime Minister pointed out how there were attempts to misguide the masses, instigate them against demonetisation, rumour-mongering, but common sense prevailed and the people refused to fall prey to these tactics and wholeheartedly endorsed the nationalist move of the government.
“There were efforts to mislead and even intimidate people. But they (the people) supported us in the battle against corruption and black money,” he said in an obvious reference to the opposition’s protests against the move that has caused an unprecedented cash crunch and economic upheaval in the country.
“For 70 years, a handful of these people have been eating the cream. If they are not scared of Modi or the government, no problems. But they must not underestimate the mood of the 125 crore people. It has changed, they will not tolerate injustice, corruption and dishonesty. I assure we will not halt till we win this war,” Modi thundered to loud cheers.
He admitted the fight is not an easy one but the government has gone ahead undeterred with the support of the masses.
Earlier, Modi inaugurated a slew of mega infrastructure projects including the ambitious Mumbai Trans Harbour Link, two Metro Rail, road infrastructure projects, collectively worth over Rs.106,000 crores.
He also laid the foundation of the Shivaji Maharaj memorial off Mumbai coast, saying the Maratha king was a multi-faceted personality “which inspires us”
“I am grateful to the Maharashtra government that I got the chance to perform jalpujan of Shivaji Maharaj,” the PM said.
When the memorial is complete, people will admire the iconic building, he said, adding Shivaji Maharaj “is an inspiration for all of us” and remains a torch bearer of good governance.
“If India is projected in the right manner, it has the potential to attract global tourism,” he said.