Terrorism, drug mafia destroyed by note ban: PM

 

With the 50-day deadline for the exchange of demonetised notes drawing near, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said his “fight” against black money and corruption would continue unabated.

“Through the note ban, in one stroke, we destroyed the world of terrorism, drug mafia, human trafficking and underworld,” he said, addressing a ‘Parivartan Maha Rally’ here.

Indebted to people for support: Modi

Acknowledging that people had undergone “immense” trouble due to the invalidation of the Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 notes, Mr. Modi said he was “indebted” to the people for their support.

“I am able to continue with the fight [against black money] because the poor people of the country have supported and protected me, otherwise I don’t know what they [the rich and corrupt] would have done to me by now. They [the hoarders of black money] are still looking for a chance to pounce upon Modi,” he said.

“I am fighting to make the honest people more powerful. It will be a long fight and I need the support of the people of Uttarakhand to win the fight [against loot and corruption],” the Prime Minister said.

“I have begun a fight against corruption,” Mr Modi said, adding that demonetisation was a “safai abhiyan” (clean-up campaign) aimed at the ‘corrupt people who control’ the honest ones.”

Work of watchman

“Have you made me the Prime Minister for cutting ribbons, lighting lamps…? You have entrusted me with the work of a watchman. But objections are being raised when I am doing my duty,” Mr Modi said, adding that the country needed to be free from “kaala mann” (bad minds) and “kaala dhan” (black money) and that he had begun a fight against both.

Since 70 per cent of Uttarakhand’s population is rural, Mr Modi said his government had initiated schemes for the poor including for rural electrification and the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana where cooking gas cylinders have been distributed to rural women.

“These initiatives are for the benefit of the poor and not for the rich,” Mr. Modi, who laid the foundation stone for a Rs. 12,000 crore all-weather road project, or the ‘Char Dham’ project in Uttarakhand on Tuesday, said.

Under the Central government’s ‘Char Dham’ project, a 900-kilometre network of roads, tunnels and bridges leading to the four shrines of Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri would be built.

Speaking on the One Rank-One Pension (OROP) scheme in poll-bound Uttarakhand which has a large number of men in the Armed forces, Mr. Modi said while the Congress had fooled the people by providing only Rs 500 crore for OROP when the party was in power, the BJP government had pledged to provide Rs. 10,000 crore that was needed for OROP.

“We have, so far, provided Rs. 6,600 crore and the rest would also be provided soon,” the Prime Minister said.

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