Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday accused the Congress leadership of “desperation” in the face of his “tough” demonetisation decision and said it was the first time that a concerted effort was made by the Opposition to “openly” protect the dishonest through disruptions in Parliament.
He also slammed Manmohan Singh, who had described demonetisation as a “monumental mismanagement” and an “organised loot”, and sarcastically said that his predecessor might have been referring to the “unending string of scams” like 2G, CWG and coal block allocation “under his leadership”.
Modi said while the honest will not be harassed, those with black wealth have “only a few days to hide” and will not be spared.
“I pity a few of our opponents, especially the Congress leadership, for the desperation they have been exhibiting ...Congress leaders are entirely pre-occupied with only one thing - elections.
“There is nothing political in the demonetisation decision...It was a tough decision taken to clean up our economy and our society. If I were guided by short-term electoral politics, I would have never done so,” he told India Today in an interview.
With regard to the washout of the recent Winter session due to disruptions over demonetisation, the Prime Minister said the government tried its best to keep Parliament functioning.
“I was keen to speak in both Houses. Yet, there was a concerted attempt by the Congress to derail the functioning of the Houses rather than have a proper debate. While opposition in Parliament is understandable, this is the first time it is being used to protect the dishonest and that too so openly,” he said.
On Manmohan Singh’s attack, Modi said, “it is interesting that the words ‘monumental mismanagement’ come from a leader who has been at the helm of India economic journey for around 45 years.
“His reference to ‘organised loot’ was perhaps a reference to the unending string of scams under his leadership, from the coal scam to the 2G and CWG scams. Demonetisation on the other hand is an unprecedented step to confiscate the loot of the corrupt.”