Saying that he feels the pain of the common man affected by demonetisation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday, in an emotional appeal, urged the “honest” people of the country to bear with the temporary hardships for another 50 days. “If I commit any mistake, I am ready to face any punishment the country will give me. But I promise to deliver a corruption-free India,” PM Modi said.
Speaking about the government’s move to denotify high denomination notes, PM Modi said that many people in India slept peacefully on November 8, when the announcement was made, but “some are sleepless even now”. PM Modi broke down midway through his speech and said that he had left his family and home to serve the country. “I was not born to sit on a chair of high office. Whatever I had, my family, my home-I left it for nation,” PM Modi said.
Addressing an event in Goa, Modi raised the issue of black money and corruption. “The people have chosen a government and they expect so much from it. In 2014, so many people voted to free the nation from corruption,” PM Modi said. The prime minister said that it was everyone’s duty to report about money that was “looted” in India and sent abroad.
Prime Minister also took a jibe at Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, who stood in queue at an SBI bank branch in New Delhi, saying that those involved in a number of scams were even forced to stand in lines to withdraw Rs 4000. “If you asked me to defeat the menace of black money, how can I not do it? The previous government was delaying it,” PM said.
The Central government’s move to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes came under severe criticism from the Opposition as people had to wait for hours outside banks and ATMs across the country to swap or withdraw money. In the national capital, people stood in lines outside the ATMs overnight to withdraw money in the morning.
On Saturday, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that the existing ATM machinery in the country were not calibrated to dispense the new currency notes which have different dimensions compared to the old ones. He added that it will take about 21 days to recalbirate the ATM machines.