The BJP is all set to go into the upcoming Uttar Pradesh elections armed with two “surgical strikes” — the one across the LoC and the other against black money. Asked if the party was planning to use demonetisation as a poll plank for the Assembly polls, a senior BJP leader said: “We will use it to the hilt.”
There is, however, a realisation in party ranks that the move may hit the party’s support base in the business community. The BJP had earlier made it clear that it would use the surgical strikes in PoK as a poll plank for the Assembly polls.
The party leadership is certain that once the initial difficulties are overcome, the people will appreciate the demonetisation move.
“Tax evaders will not be spared and there will be heavy penalties and government action. But it is important to understand that anybody who tries to exchange up to Rs 2.5 lakh within the stipulated period will face no penal action,” the leader said.
The party is also keen to send out a message that honest people would face no harassment apart from the logistical difficulties in these few days.
“The only ones to be inconvenienced are those with black money. This may cost us some votes but the interest of the country is paramount for us. This will certainly lead to a curtailing of election expenses in the coming days. That will naturally have repercussions for political parties,” said the senior leader.
The party’s hopes, it is learnt, are also hinging on the impact of the crackdown on its rivals in Uttar Pradesh.
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The promise to “bring back” black money stashed abroad had been the NDA’s poll plank during the campaign for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in one of his campaign speeches, had said that once that money is brought back, Rs 15 lakh would be deposited in the account of every Indian citizen. Later, the BJP had drawn severe criticism when party president Amit Shah had said the PM’s words were a “jumla”.