NEW DELHI: Amid mounting criticism from the public and the Opposition, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday met BJP parliamentarians and told them the country was with the government on the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes even as any rethink on the decision was ruled out.
“Everyone agrees that it is a historic decision. BJP leaders from across the country said that there is overwhelming support for the government’s bold move to fight black money and corruption,” said Union minister Venkaiah Naidu after the meeting.
The minister ruled out any chance of the government rethinking the decision. “Allegations levelled by the Opposition are baseless. We will answer them at an appropriate time. In Parliament we will get to know which people are on the side of black money hoarders,” he said. Union minister Ananth Kumar said all NDA allies supported Modi on the demonetisation issue at a meeting of the coalition. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi told the NDA meet that the credit for demonetisation will not go to him personally, but to all parties which stood with the govt,” Naidu said.
Parliament’s winter session is set to begin on Wednesday and sources said the opening day would likely be taken over by Opposition leaders such as Mamata Banerjee, accusing the Centre of punishing poor people with the decision to scrap high-denomination notes. BJP president Amit Shah, while advising his party colleagues to counter the Opposition aggressively, said they must also be prepared to give “informed” accounts of the Army’s surgical strikes in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
And the party hit back at West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for her criticism of the demonetisation move, describing her as “Queen of Saradha”, referring to the multi-crore-rupee Saradha chit fund scam.