Modi to address nation on New Year’s eve, likely to talk about demonetisation
On the eve of the new year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the nation through public broadcaster Doordarshan.
Sources said that Modi will talk about the support of the people for his ambitious scheme of scrapping high-value currency to drain black money from the economy.
He might also announce further steps, including sops to ease a nationwide cash crunch and a crackdown on properties registered in fake names.
On November 8, PM Modi had taken the nation by surprise as he announced the scrapping of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes. He had set a deadline till December 30 for people to deposit old notes in bank accounts, a move that was widely criticised by his political rivals.
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi had even levelled charges of personal corruption against Modi during a political rally in the PM’s home state Gujarat.
In the new year, the political tussle over demonetisation is set to enter a new phase.
The ruling BJP has planned a long series of rallies and campaign programmes to tell people the benefits of a cashless economy.
The Opposition, eyeing a united bloc and a possible alliance against the BJP, may hold joint rallies across states.
While many Opposition parties have been critical of the move, they have so far restricted themselves to individual protest programmes.
But after the meeting and press conference of eight parties in New Delhi Tuesday, plans are afoot to hold four major rallies in as many corners of the country.
The blueprint of a united protest was sketched during the Opposition’s meeting where Rahul Gandhi, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee and others were present.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, spearheading the government’s aggressive campaign on demonetisation, has a packed schedule. He will be in Lucknow on January 2, Tirupati in January 3 and Patna on January 5.
“While he will be going there for official engagements, he is likely to give further push to cashless economy,” said a source.
Later, he will go to Bangalore on January 8 and his home state Gujarat on January 9.