Emotional Modi asks India for 50 days to weed out black money.
Panaji -- Even as hundreds of thousands of people across India queue up outside ATMs and banks for a fourth day to surrender demonetised currency and withdraw cash, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday made an impassioned plea to the nation to give him 50 days to weed out ill-gotten wealth in India.
Modi, who broke down during his speech in Goa, also said that his dramatic decision to demonetise 500 and 1,000 rupee notes had placed him in the crosshairs of vested interests, but vowed to end black money and corruption with more projects.
I know what kind of powers I have taken on. I know the kind of people who will be against me now. I am looting what they had accumulated over 70 years, Modi said in his speech at the Shama Prasad Mukherjee indoor stadium in Bambolim village near Panaji. During his three-hour stay in Goa, Modi digitally laid the foundation for two major projects, including a greenfield civilian airport.
They will not leave me alive. They will destroy me. Let them do what they want. [For] 50 days, help me. The country should just help me for 50 days, Modi said, adding that the same vested interests were now fuelling panic by spreading rumours about salt shortage.
This is not the end. This is not a full stop. I am openly saying, this is not a full stop There are other projects in my mind to stop dishonesty and corruption in the country. These projects are coming I am doing this for the poor, honest people for those who are working hard to survive, Modi added in his hourlong speech. At one time, he halted for a few seconds to check his emotions while saying he had sacrificed his home and family for the sake of the country.
Modi, addressing his first public function in the country after the dramatic demonetisation announcement of November 8, said his decision was a secret operation for nearly 10 months and a part of a series of doses he was administering to cure the economic system. Modi said people should not have been surprised with the demonetisation decision as he had been vocal and frank about his campaign against black money and corruption in the run up to the 2014 polls. His government had taken several steps to rein in black money early on, including setting up a Supreme Court-monitored special investigation team to probe the issue, launching a voluntary disclosure of income scheme and bringing jewellery purchase into the tax net.
Did you not ask me to work against black money? If you had asked me to do it, should I have done it or not? You tell me, if you had asked me, then you would have imagined that there would be some inconvenience, Modi asked.