New Delhi: BJP and its allies on Monday strongly backed the government's demonetisation decision on which Prime Minister Narendra Modi ruled out any rethink as the parties prepared to take on the opposition in the winter session of Parliament beginning 16 November.
Information and Broadcasting Minister M Venkaiah Naidu told reporters after the meeting that there was no rethink on rendering the high-value currency notes illegal, saying the government's crusade against black money and corruption will be carried to its logical conclusion.
The NDA allies decided that they will take on the opposition parties criticising the demonetisation move by countering each of their allegations during the session. They also decided not to be defensive as people have supported the decision and are willing to face inconvenience.
Modi received a big thumbs up from NDA allies who threw their weight behind him in supporting the demonetisation move as well as the surgical strikes across LoC in September. Earlier, Modi got support from his own partymen at the BJP Parliamentary Party meeting which discussed the steps taken by him to curb corruption and black money.
The Prime Minister told the NDA allies that there was no need to be defensive on demonetisation as there is widespread support for the move and people are ready to face hardships for larger gains. He also urged the NDA allies to go to the public and explain its benefits in the long run in curbing corruption and black money.
He told the parties that the credit for the move does not go to him personally but to all parties who have stood by the government, adding he will continue to take the drive forward as the steps taken by him have given hope to people that things will improve.
At the NDA meet, after the introductory remarks by the Prime Minister, Union Minister Ramvilas Paswan congratulated him on the "bold and decisive" step to demonetise high denomination currency notes. He said it will help reduce the rich-poor divide in the country. Paswan was followed by all other allies who supported the move and lauded the PM for the step, besides the surgical strikes across the LoC.
To show that the NDA was united, the government made leaders of various parties speak to media in support of demonetisation. The leaders who supported the government include Shiv Sena leader Anandrao Adsul, LJP leader Ramvilas Paswan, SAD leader Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, RLSP leader Upendra Khushwaha and TDP's Thotha Narsimam, besides those from north eastern parties.
"The NDA constituents told the Prime Minister that they will stand by him till the fight against corruption is taken to its logical end. They also appreciated the steps taken by the Finance Ministry to extend help to the people in solving inconvenience cause by the demonetisation decision," Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said.
He said, "The session will be a befitting forum to tell people about the crusade against corruption and will show which party favours corruption and which is against it." He said all NDA partners welcomed the move "in one voice" and supported the decision of the government and the Prime Minister to weed out corruption.
Kumar said black money was also being used for anti-India activities and terrorism. Information and Broadcasting Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said "false propaganda" was being spread to derail the reform process and gave the example of rumours about salt scarcity. He said while the total salt production was 220 lakh tonnes, the domestic consumption was only 60,000 tonnes and thus there was no shortage.
He also rejected the charge made by the opposition that PM Modi had disclosed the demonetisation plan to his partymen and took the opposition by surprise, saying these things have no basis and thus need not be answered.
"Many opposition parties are welcoming the move and if there are some opposing it, it will be known who is standing with the hoarders and the corrupt," Naidu told reporters. He said in BJP Parliamentary Party and NDA meetings, all have spoken in one voice in favour of the surgical strikes and the "bold, historic step of waging war against corruption and black money."
"Everybody supported the decision and said the government should move forward. They are ready for temporary pain for larger gains. People are not worried but they are looking at larger gains of economy," he said.
Sources said the BJP Parliamentary Party adopted an oral resolution moved by Home Minister Rajnath Singh, welcoming the Prime Minister on the step taken to weed out corruption, black money and counterfeit currency in the country.
They said BJP President Amit Shah lauded Modi and the government for maintaining security as well as secrecy for the past many months on the demonetisation move and bringing out new currency notes.