LUCKNOW: Buoyed by the favourable numbers put out by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) indicating minimal impact of demonetization on the economy,
Prime Minister Narendra Modi added naysayer intellectuals to his hit list on the UP election campaign trail.
At rallies in Deoraia and Maharajganj in Purvanchal on Wednesday, the PM invoked the latest GDP growth figures released by CSO to defend his demonetisation move and stated that this was proof that "hard work has won over Harvard". Although he did not name names, the barb seemed to be aimed at Nobel laureate Amartya Sen, who has criticized demonetization as the decision of a despot.
He went on to launch a blistering attack on intellectuals from Harvard and Oxford who held key positions in the Indian economic system for four or five decades. The hard work of a poor mother's son has prevailed over the so-called "intellectual braggarts" of Harvard.
"My poor farmers, labourers and youth have proved wrong those people who were rating down our growth rate," he said.
While the PM was gloating about the vindication of his demonetization move, UP chief minister Akhilesh Yadav continued to fire salvos at the Prime Minister in his own rallies at Deoria and Mau. He demanded that the PM to make public details of the money deposited in banks post-demonetisation while exhorting his voters to teach BJP a lesson by standing in queues to vote.
At his meeting in Deoraia, the PM did not let an opportunity go and mocked Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi once again for the latter's 'coconut juice' comment in Manipur. "How can there be development in a country when it has such great leaders," asked the PM.
Modi also targeted the SP-Congress alliance, cautioning the people against Samajwadis who were interested in the development of only Safai and also those who believed in "haath ki safai" (theft and corruption).
"While one has destroyed the state, the other has destroyed the country," he commented, referring to the alliance partners SP and Congress. The PM launched an attack on his other opponents, saying, "Buaji (Mayawati) bhi gayee... bhatija (Akhilesh) aur bhatijey ka naya dost (Rahul) bhi gaya (Mayawati, Akhilesh and Rahul all have been swept away). Nothing will be left behind."