Hitting out at the Congress, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said it did not have the strength to touch high value currency during its rule and asserted that the “clean up” was required as a lot had been looted in the last 70 years. “I am surprised that the Congress is asking why did I stop Rs 1000 notes and 500 notes. When you stopped 25 paise, did we say anything? You could dare to stop only 25 paise, that’s what your power was limited to. But you did not make higher denomination currency notes illegal. … We did it. People have chosen a government and they expect so much from it,” Modi said, as he took on Congress which has been critical of the Centre’s demonetisation move.
“You had also agreed to stop (black money), but you did not have the strength to stop big notes. You wanted to run the vehicle (by stopping) 25 paise,” he said.
Lashing out at the previous UPA government, he said, “On the night of November 8, at 8 o’clock, did you see (what happened)? In 2012, 2013, 2014 newspapers were filled with news about lots of money being eaten up in scams like coal and 2G. But after November 8, their position was such that they had to stand in line for Rs 4,000.”
“Those who question me today… those who had heard my speeches… I have not said this for the first time. Many years ago I had said in a public function that Congress doesn’t have strength so they are stopping 25 paise, if I’m given a chance I will stop Rs 1,000 note,” he said. The Prime Minister, who was speaking at the centenary celebrations of Karnataka Lingayat Education (KLE) Society, a leading educational institution here, said the government did not want to harass the honest but would not spare the dishonest.
“… it has been 70 years, tell me has the country been looted or not? Has corruption taken place or not? Are big stacks of cash lying at houses or not?” the Prime Minister said, strongly defending “the war” against black money. “Enough has been looted. You have seen looters. For 70 years the country has been looted, give me 70 months I will clean it up,” he added.
“These people who used to ask what has Modi done? Switch on your TV and see what Modi did on 8th November,” he said. Stating that he has started a “sacred work” for the “honesty” people, he added, “If you believe in my honesty and my work, if you believe in my words to clean up notes I need you blessings, please bless me.”