Warning that no bank defaulter will be spared, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday accused Congress of helping the rich usurp people’s money and claimed his government has “tightened the screws” on the “looters” who were now fleeing due to fear of going to jail.
Hitting back after his government faced criticism over handling of Vijay Mallya case, Modi alleged that Congress was opening banks for the rich during its rule and “its governments who have through these banks filled the coffers of the rich too will have to pay”.
“You know how the rich have usurped public money. My government has tightened the screws on the bank defaulters. They are sweating due to fear of going to jail and are fleeing. But no one will be spared I am telling you.
“The money looted from the banks does not belong to the banks but to the poor people of the country and I will ensure that those who looted this money return each and every paise… they have looted the country,” he said addressing an election rally in Assam for the second successive day.
Modi said various fiscal policies initiated by his government had done away with middlemen, ensured development and enhanced the country’s image internationally.
“The country was being run by middlemen. Since Modi assumed office, the middlemen have been forced to close shop. It is they who shout, accuse and abuse Modi but I don’t care.
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“There will be no ‘acche din’ (good days) for the middlemen and so their problem with me is natural,” Modi said ina reference to his election slogan.
“You have enjoyed for 60 years by robbing the poor. Now, it won’t happen any more. So it is natural that you will have a problem with Modi. I am committed to ensure development and well–being of the nation,” the Prime Minister said.
The Prime Minister said that more “than 40 per cent of the population had not seen the doors of the bank during the last 60 years” but his Jan Dhan Yojana has ensured that the poorest of the poor have their own bank accounts.
Besides, earlier the money lenders were active, charging high rates of interest and “sucking the blood of the poor but our Mudra Yojana has ensured that loans are given to the deserving at nominal rate of interest”.
“These policies and our agenda for development have enhanced the nation’s position in the international arena and now when I shake hands with global leaders, it is not with Modi that they shake hands but with the people of the country,” Modi said.
The Prime Minister said the people of Assam reposed their belief, faith and confidence in Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and the Congress for the last 15 years but they “fooled” the people of the state and now “the time has come for people to ask for their accounts from this government”.
“There was Congress government in both the state, the Centre and also a Prime Minister representing the state for ten years. They had power and the entire treasury at their disposal but what have they done for the people of the state? The forthcoming elections are a time for the people to settle account with the Congress and the Chief Minister,” Modi said.
He said education, employment, roads and medicines for the elderly were the need of the hour and it was the government’s responsibility to provide these but the “Congress is not interested in doing anything or in giving accounts”.
“I have only three agendas — ‘vikas’ (development), ‘tej gati se vikas’ (speedy development) and ‘charon aur vikas’ (all-round development). I believe in solving all problems through development,” he said.
The Prime Minister pointed out that at the time of independence, Assam was among the top-five developed states but during the last sixty years, it has been reduced to one of the five poorest states of the country.
Promising to change the face of Assam by ushering in all-round development, Modi said the Centre has spent Rs 12,000 crore on road connectivity and has sanctioned funds for four-lane highway from Kaliabor Tiniali-Dholabari, Jamugari-Bishwanath Chariali and Bishwanath Chariali-Gohpur area.
He also said that his government was committed to ensure power, road, rail and clean drinking water to people besides ensuring education for children, employment for youths and medicines for the elderly.
He urged the people to ensure that BJP forms the government in the state with absolutely majority as only then “doors for development of Assam will be fully open”.
The Prime Minister had addressed five election meetings in Upper Assam on Saturday and returned to Delhi in the evening.
Besides, Rangapara in the Northern Bank’s Sonitpur district, Modi was also scheduled to address an election rally at Panchgram in Barak Valley.