Demonetisation: Modi turns to 'Jan Sabha', says Lok Sabha not listening

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said that the people in the country supported demonetisation as the move will end black money and corruption. He said the decision was taken to empower the poor, honest and exploited people of the country.

Modi was speaking after inaugurating a Rs350 crore cheese plant at Banaskantha. He will also be inaugurating a milk co-operative dairy plant and a few other government projects in Deesa.

Addressing a farmers' rally in Banaskantha, in Deesa, Gujarat, the prime minister said a month after the decision to demonetise high-value currency notes on 8 November, the opposition in the Lok Sabha is not allowing him to speak. ''So I'm speaking in the Jan Sabha,'' he said.

These games of looting the poor and exploiting the middle classes will now be history. India wants to progress. Corruption and black money is slowing our progress and adversely affecting the poor. These evils have to end, he said.

There is no need to waste your time standing outside banks or ATMs, e-wallets have brought banks to your mobiles, he said, adding that he wanted to assure people of the country that no one (black money holders) will be spared.

However, a month after the PM announced that Rs500 and Rs1,000 currency notes will cease to be legal tender, the focus of the rally remained demonetisation, cashless economy and Digital India with terrorism and counterfeit money finding no mention.

Earlier, the Prime Minister in his Mann ki Baat address had pushed for a cashless economy and urged farmers and small traders to start making payments through their mobile phones. In the last two-three days, the government has announced various incentives to encourage people to go cashless.

Throughout the winter session of Parliament, the Opposition has been accusing the prime minister of staying silent on the issue of demonetisation which, they say, has caused huge public inconvenience.

But, Modi said the people of the country were ready to sacrifice for a better future. Short-term pain will have long-term gains for the country, Modi said.

''You must have seen how bank officials and others who have stashed huge amount of black money are being caught. They thought they can escape through back channels but they didn't know that Modi has installed cameras in the back channels as well.

Modi said he has sought only 50 days for a major step to rid the nation of corruption. You will see how things will change, he said.

''Merely talking about the poor is different from working for the poor, something that the NDA government is always doing.

''Yes, during elections we have a lot of heated debates. But we all call for increased voter turnout. Likewise, yes, you can oppose me but do teach people about banking, using technology for financial transactions.

''From the land of Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Patel I want to share something with my friends in the Opposition.

He said the government has always been ready to debate. But, he said, ''I am not being allowed to speak in Lok Sabha so I am speaking in the Jan Sabha.''

Parliament is not being allowed to function, he said, adding that the happenings in Parliament anguished our President, who has tremendous political experience.

''We belong to a nation where we do not think what is my interest. We are not a selfish nation. We think about future generations.

"We are standing with the honest people of the country, with the poor people of the nation. 1.25 billion Indians have supported demonetisation, he said.

''Who is unhappy with corruption? Not those perpetrating corruption...it is the poor, the common citizens who are unhappy.

''With our step on currency notes, we have been successful in weakening the hands of terrorists, those in fake currency rackets.

''For how long can poor of India be told to pay for houses in cash. For how long will poor be asked- you want Pucca bill or Kuccha bill.

''We took the decision on currency notes to strengthen the hands of the poor of the nation

''100 ke note ki koi keemat thi kya 8 November ke pehle? Rs50 ki keemat thi kya? chhote ko koi poochta tha kya?

"Today everyone in the nation is discussing the issue of currency notes. We sell our farmers' produce at very low prices. Value addition needs to be done to castor as it is demanded worldwide.

"Along with 'Shwet Kranti', here there is also a 'Sweet Kranti.' People are being trained in honey products.

"Earlier, due to drought, farmers committed suicide but changes took place and farmers adopted livestock leading to white revolution

"The farmers here turned to dairy and animal husbandry. This was beneficial for the farmers.

"The farmers in Banaskantha heard my request and embraced drip irrigation. This changed their lives and lives of future generations

"When I took over as chief minister, I would tell farmers that you need to focus on water as much as you focus on electricity.

"There was a time when people from Kutch and Banaskantha would leave their homes in search of better opportunities. It is not the case now.

"The farmer of North Gujarat has shown to the world what he or she is capable of. I am told it is after a very long time that a Prime Minister is visiting Banaskantha. But, I am here not as PM but as a son of this soil."