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As it happened: Modi speaks on note ban in Gujarat, Oppn says he’s ‘factually wrong’

The PM will also visit state BJP headquarters in Gandhinagar district in the afternoon, his first trip there after assuming the top office in May 2014.

india Updated: Dec 10, 2016 14:08 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PM Modi's Gujarat visit,Modi in Gujarat,Banaskantha
Prime Minister Narendra Modi holding a bottle of Banas Honey to mark its launch in Banaskantha district.(Twitter/@PIB_India)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that he was not being allowed to speak in the Lok Sabha, which is why he is speaking in the ‘Jan Sabha’, during his address at a farmers’ rally in Banaskantha district in Gujarat, where he arrived on Saturday morning for a day-long visit.

Referring to protests by Opposition parties in Parliament over the demonetisation of high-value currency notes, PM Modi says they are free to criticise him and highlight people’s problems but it was also important they, “teach people about banking, using technology for financial transactions.” He also raises the comments made President Pranab Mukherjee on the impasse in Parliament since the winter session began over three weeks ago.

Modi will also pay a visit to state BJP headquarters in Gandhinagar district in the afternoon, his first trip there after assuming the top office in May 2014.

Read | Backroom team in a bungalow: How PM Modi kept the currency ban move a secret

This is the fifth visit of the Prime Minister to his home state, which will go to polls in the second half of 2017, in the last six months.

Here are LIVE updates:

1.45 pm: Senior Congress leader Anand Sharma too criticises PM Modi for his comments that he was not being allowed to speak. “In fact, we have been insisting on a debate,” says Sharma.

“But we don’t want the PM to come and give a speech and leave, we want him to answer our questions,” ANI quotes him as saying.

1.00 pm: Trinamool Congress chief and Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee reacts to the PM’s comments saying, “Modi babu knows that demonetisation now derailed. Except giving bhashan, he has no solution.” TMC MP Derek O’Brien termed it ‘factually wrong’ of the Prime Minister to say that the government is ready for debate and that he was not being allowed to speak in Lok Sabha.

JD(U)’s Sharad Yadav tells ANI that whatever PM Modi says in public rallies on demonetisation , he needs to come to Parliament and participate in the debate.

12.30 pm: “There is no need to waste your time standing outside banks or ATMs, e-wallets have brought banks to your mobiles,” says the Prime Minister. He compares the poor to Rs100 notes, saying, “Like the Rs100 notes gained the strength, the poor have also been empowered. Modi says the evils of corruption and black money have been plaguing the nation’s progress and adversely affecting the poor. “They need to end.”

“These games of looting the poor and exploiting the middle classes will now be history,” concludes PM Modi.

12.23 pm: PM Modi now asks for 50 days for the situation to normalise after he announced the demonetisation policy on November 8. “You will see how things will change. This is a major step to rid the nation from corruption,” says Modi.

He emphasises on the importance of using technology for financial transactions. “I urge you all to integrate people with e-banking, e-wallets. Once there was silver currency, then we had paper currency and today your banks and wallets are in your mobile,” he says.

“You must have seen how bank officials and others who have stashed huge amount of black money are being caught. They thought they can escape through back channels but they didn’t know that Modi has installed cameras in the back channels as well,” says Modi at the farmers’ rally, stressing that “no one will be spared.”

Read | After Rahul’s Paytm jibe, Modi says demonetisation a ‘yagna against corruption’

12.20 pm: “From the land of Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Patel I want to share something with my friends in the Opposition. Yes, during elections we have a lot of heated debates. But we all call for increased voter turnout. Likewise, yes, you can oppose me but do teach people about banking, using technology for financial transactions,” says Modi, as he continues to discuss demonetisation.

“We belong to a nation where we do not think only in our self-interests. We are not a selfish nation. We think about future generations,” says Modi.

12.15 pm: PM Modi speaks about the protests by Opposition parties in Parliament on demonetisation. “Parliament is not being allowed to function. What has been happening in Parliament has even anguished our President, who has tremendous political experience,” he says.

12.10 pm: “Who is unhappy with corruption? Not those perpetrating is the poor, the common citizens who are unhappy,” says Modi. “For 70 years, the honest have been looted. But now I am standing with them & that’s why they are being provoked.”

12.06 pm: “We took the decision on currency notes to strengthen the hands of the poor of the nation,” says Modi, bringing up demonetisation during his address in Deesa.

“With our step on currency notes, we have been successful in weakening the hands of terrorists, those in fake currency rackets.”

Read | Supreme Court questions Centre about demonetisation, asks about secrecy

12.03 pm: “Along with ‘Shwet Kranti’, here there is also a ‘Sweet Kranti.’ People are being trained in honey products,” Modi says. He also speaks about Amul brand cheese and how popular it is now worldwide. “People go looking for Amul branded cheese.”

12.00 pm: Due to drought, farmers committed suicide before but now changes have taken place and farmers adopted livestock rearing leading to white revolution, says PM Modi.

11.55 am: “When I took over as chief minister, I would tell farmers that you need to focus on water as much as you focus on electricity. The farmers in Banaskantha heard my request and embraced drip irrigation. This changed their lives and lives of future generations,” Modi says, during his address in Deesa.

11.52 am: “There was a time when people from Kutch and Banaskantha would leave their homes in search of better opportunities. It is not the case now,” says Modi. He lauds the work of farmers in Deesa: “If anyone can breathe life into a rigid desert, it’s the farmers of north Gujarat.”

11: 47 am: The farmer of north Gujarat has shown to the world what he or she is capable of, says Modi. “I am told it is after a very long time that a Prime Minister is visiting Banaskantha. But, I am here not as PM but as a son of this soil.”

11.45 am: Prime Minister Modi begins his speech in Deesa in Banaskantha district in Gujarat

Read | Short-term pain of demonetisation will pave way for long-term gains: PM Modi

First Published: Dec 10, 2016 11:01 IST