Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday addressed BJP workers to give them an insight into his decision to demonetise high-denomination currencies at Gujarat BJP headquarters, Shree Kamalam in Gandhinagar. He asked the party workers to promote digital transactions to help bring people under a cashless economy to curb corruption.
After addressing the rally at Deesa, in Banaskantha district of the state, Modi went to meet his mother Hiraba, who lives with her youngest son Pankaj in Gandhinagar, before heading for Kamalam. This was Modi’s first visit to the new party headquarters in the state since he took over as the Prime Minister.
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“As per a survey by the Reserve Bank of India, two-third of 1,000-rupee notes and one-third of 500-rupee notes circulated never returned to RBI,” Modi told the party workers, according to a release. “These notes are hoarded somewhere in the country as black money. The value of the rupee was constantly reducing because of the spread of this black money, and so, in the interest of the country, for the bright future of the common citizen of the country, this demonetisation decision has been taken.”
Besides thousands of workers from across the state, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, his predecessor Anandiben Patel and almost all BJP MPs and MLAs were present at the event.
One notable leader absent was Porbandar MP and Patidar strongman Vitthal Radadiya. His son and cabinet minister Jayesh said Radadiya was “unwell” and thus could not make it. The senior Radadiya, who heads the Rajkot District Cooperative Bank, has reportedly been upset about curbs put on District Central Cooperative Banks by the RBI post-demonetisation.
During the interaction, Modi also congratulated the BJP on its victory in the local body elections in the state. Referring to earlier such instances of victories in local elections, Modi said, “Any victory of the BJP in Gujarat has an enthusing impact on politics of the entire country.”
A party leader said the Prime Minister addressed most of those present “by name and inquired after weddings and deaths in their families”.