“This is a war on corruption and black money, and you (Opposition) have to decide which side you are on,” Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu told Opposition parties on Wednesday during his address in the opening session of Parliament.
The Centre on Wednesday strongly urged Opposition parties to come on board and appreciate Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s demonetisation move.
Leading the charge for the government, Union Ministers Naidu and Piyush Goyal also welcomed suggestions which could help the Government in proper execution of the decision.
Putting up a strong defence of the Prime Minister during a debate in the Rajya Sabha, Naidu and Goyal stated that the step was taken in national interest to end corruption and black money and curb terrorist activities in the country.
Naidu said the exercise to take out Rs500 and Rs1,000 currency notes was “temporary pain for long-term gain”.
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Naidu claimed that common people were supporting the Government’s move which will also help in curbing inflation and reduction of taxes. He said while the country has welcomed this initiative it is natural for some people who have black money to be worried.
“The Prime Minister wants a behavioural change in the country... This is a war on corruption and black money and you (Opposition) have to decide which side you are on,” Naidu said.
The strong arguments by the minister prompted Congress member Digvijay Singh to remark that perhaps Modi had chosen the right man in Naidu to defend the Government.
On his part Power Minister Piyush Goyal, appreciated the BJP Government and the Prime Minister for taking a bold decision to resurrect the country’s sagging economy.
“If anyone has the strength to take on black money and corruption, it is the BJP Government and Narendra Modi,” Goyal said and rejected as baseless the Opposition charge that there was “leakage” of the decision and said everyone was taken by surprise which is why there are “initial” problems.