PM Modi attacks Mamata Banerjee, Congress in Agra over demonetisation

Agra: On Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said political leaders behind multi-crore chit fund scams are attacking him as they have been hit hard by demonetisation, in remarks seen as sharp attack on West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

He also hit out at the Congress saying governments in the past 70 years kept quiet on blackmoney because they were worried about losing power.

Addressing a 'Parivartan rally' in Agra, Modi cautioned people holding Jan Dhan accounts not to allow themselves to be used for laundering the money of the rich by depositing their ill-gotten wealth as they could unnecessarily get into problems with law.

"I know what sort of people are raising their voice against me? Does the country not know whose money was invested in chit fund business? Lakhs and crores of poor people invested money in chit funds. But with the blessings of politicians, crores and crores of rupees have vanished.

PM Modi attacks Mamata Banerjee, Congress in Agra over demonetisation

PM Modi and Mamata Banerjee. Reuters

"Due to chit fund loss, hundreds of head of families were forced to commit suicide. Look at history and they are questioning me," he said in barbs aimed apparently at Banerjee, who had been rallying political leaders against the demonetisation decision.

However, the Prime Minister did not name any leaders.

Some Trinamool Congress (TMC) leaders have been arraigned before courts in cases relating to chit fund scams in West Bengal.

Modi said previous governments did not take any step to check blackmoney as they were worried more about losing power than about the country.

"For how long will the country keep quiet? They (previous governments) kept quiet for 70 years. Not because they were unaware of this disease. They worried less about country and more about power. That's why they were not ready to take any step (to check it)," the Prime Minister said, in a veiled attack at Congress.

Modi said on the one side cross-border terrorism was killing army personnel and on the other hand economic terrorism was pushing the country's youth and economy towards catastrophe.

He said fake currency notes were pushed into the country and because of the demonetisation the business of drugs and other narcotics have come to stand still.

"There is a big jolt to the business of fake Indian currency notes due to demonetisation," the Prime Minister said.

Referring to government's decision of demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, Modi said the decision has not been taken to harass people but to help poor, marginalised and honest people.

He cautioned people not to let their Jan Dhan accounts to be misused by corrupt people.

"I have come to request you. These corrupt people are very cunning. They may approach you to deposit Rs 2.5 lakh in your account. They can ask you to return Rs two lakh after six months and offer you Rs 50,000. But please do not let these people take advantage of you.

"Law is very tough... the corrupt would say it is not my money and the people in whose accounts the money is deposited will be answerable. Unnecessarily poor will have problem with law. I do not want my brothers and sisters to have any problem," the Prime Minister said.

There are reports of misuse of zero-balance Jan Dhan accounts by blackmoney hoarders and the Centre is looking into it. It has warned that violators will be prosecuted under the Benami Transactions Act that carries a penalty, prosecution and rigorous jail term of a maximum seven years.

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Updated Date: Nov 20, 2016 18:42:21 IST

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