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Demonetization: Modi targets Congress; says poor enjoying sound sleep, rich running to buy sleeping pills

Asserting that the poor in the country are supporting his demonetization decision, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday took on the opposition parties, especially Congress, saying it is the corrupt who are sleepless now.

“After demonetization, the poor are enjoying a sound sleep while rich are running from pillar to post to buy sleeping pills,” Modi said at BJP’s Parivartan Yatra here, as he continued to rally public support for his move.

Scoffing at opposition for blaming him for the problems being faced by the poor, the Prime Minister said he was better aware of the hardships being faced by commoners.

“You (Congress) issue statements. I feel the pulse of the poor,” he said.

Lashing out at opposition, he said, “Some political parties are worried after demonitisation…they used to get huge garlands of notes…only option now is to put the Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes in waste paper basket.” “Some people wear a smile on the face, they even say Modi ji you have done a good job. But they instigate their party workers to oppose my decision,” he said, without taking any names.

His apparent reference was to leaders of BSP, SP and AAP who have been critical of the move.

Modi said the action will affect very powerful people people but he is prepared to fight for the poor.

“I know I will face a lot of hardships as those having lots of cash are very powerful people but I have undertaken this fight for the poor,” the PM said.

Referring to people dumping wads of old Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes in rivers, the Prime Minister said, “You cannot wash your sins off just by putting currency notes in the river Ganges.”

“My decision is a little harsh… when I was young poor people used to ask for ‘kadak’ (strong) tea as they like strong tea but it spoils the mood of the rich,” he said amid applause from the gathering.

Modi said he was aware of the hardships being faced by people in the wake of his demonetisaion decision. However, he said had it not been for people’s support, the corrupt and blackmarketeers would not have been so worried today.

Making his opening remarks in Bhojpuri to strike a rapport with the people of eastern UP, Modi said there was no change in the plight of people of Purvanchal since 1962 and he chose November 14 (Jawaharlal Nehru’s birth anniversary) purposely to complete the works for development of the region.

He said there was no dearth of money for development, but the fact was that money was stashed away somewhere else and not where it should have been.

He said some political parties are facing a major problem due to demonetization.

“There is no option left for the dishonest in the country now. I am only fulfilling the promise made at election time to fight corruption,” he said.

PTI