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If I sing you’ll ask for Rs 100 notes: PM Modi at Mumbai fest

Despite being on the receiving end of the Opposition over demonetisation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday took a lighter note over the issue at the Global Citizen Festival in Mumbai.

india Updated: Nov 19, 2016 21:39 IST
Prime Minister Narendra Modi gestures as he delivers a speech after the awards ceremony of National Awards for Excellence in Journalism, in New Delhi on Wednesday.(PTI)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a passing reference of his government’s demonetisation issue -- that too on a lighter note --- at the Global Citizen Festival in Mumbai on Saturday.

“I always look forward to being among young people. It refreshes and re-energises me. You bring an energy and idealism that is unparalleled. You have been smart in asking me to only address gathering and not sing, or else I am sure you would be asking money back that too in Rs100 notes,” PM Modi said via video-conferencing.

His government’s decision to ban Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes has irked the opposition parties, which say the move has led to an “economic anarchy”.

Modi’s surprise announcement last week has sparked chaos and confusion across the country, with millions of consumers queued outside banks and ATMs to change a limited number of old notes for new ones or withdraw cash. The government said the move was aimed at rooting out black money and corruption.

Stressing that poverty is a bane to any society, the PM said be it malnutrition, unemployment, corruption or uncleanliness, its impact falls the most on the poor.

Prime Minister asserted that the government is working towards empowering the poor.

“Cleanliness drive is going on in the nation for the last two years. The young people have taken the initiative of “Swacch Bharat Abhiyan” forward, be it for the country and black money.My dear young friends, I am convinced we can and we will build a Swachh Bharat free of all forms of filth within one generation,” he added.

Expressing his gratitude to the nation for working with him in the cleanliness drive, Prime Minister Modi said he looks forward that the people continue to do so.

“India is a young country and our future is built on the choices you make and the actions you take. Hope you too will seize the moment. Your sons and daughters are beyond your command, your old roads ageing, please get out of the new one if you can’t lend your hand,” he added.

Global Citizen India is a social action platform for a generation that wants to solve the world’s challenges.

The festival will conclude a two-month long campaign in support of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

First Published: Nov 19, 2016 21:18 IST