NEW DELHI: A day after his predecessor Manmohan Singh alleged demonetization was a “case of organised loot and legalised plunder and reflected a ‘monumental management failure’, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has hit back on opposition.
Taking a dig at his political rivals, PM Modi said that they would have ‘lavished praised’ on him if he had given them time before making announcing the scheme.
Speaking at a book launch in the Parliament House library, Prime minister said, ”Some people are alleging the government did not make ample preparation. I think that is not the issue that the government did not make ample preparation. I think the pain of such people is that the government did not give a chance to make any preparation".
Calling every citizen as the ‘soldier’ who is fighting a battle against corruption, Modi said that “if these people had got 72 hours to make their preparation then they would have lavished praise that there is no one like Modi.”
Modi’s remark attracted a sharp criticism from the opposition in Rajya Sabha and members demaning an apology from him. Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said that “PM today said that opposition is favouring black money, this is a serious allegation against the entire Opposition, he must apologise". His point was echoed by the BSP supremo Mayawati who wanted PM must come to House and apologise.
In his address on the book launch, PM noted India's name features prominently in global corruption surveys which is not something to be proud of, he said, some decisions have to be taken in the interest of the nation.
Supporting his stand, Prime Minister pointed out that civic bodies have benefited by the demonetisation move. He claimed that several municipal corporations have collected Rs. 13,000 crore tax, which was earlier only limited to 3,000-3,500 crore.” Anyway, this money will be used for developmental work of the area like roads and power supply,” PM added.