Sunday, June 13, 2021

Give me 50 days to weed out ill-gotten wealth

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Panaji, Nov 13 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday made an impassioned plea to the nation to give him just 50 days to weed out ill-gotten wealth in the country.

Speaking at a Goa government function near Panaji, he said his drive against corruption and black money, especially the de-monetisation, had put him in the cross hairs of those involved the illegal trade.

Modi also said that the de-monetisation drive was not the end of his campaign against corruption and black money and that he was working on other projects to stop the malaise.

“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.

“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 added.

“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. So that they can get their own home, their children get good education and so that their parents get care,” Modi added in his hour-long speech.

At one time, he halted for a few seconds to check his emotions while saying he had sacrified his home and family for the sake of the country.

The Prime Minister, addressing his first public function in the country after the dramatic demonetisation announcement of November 8, said his decision, which was a “secret operation” for nearly 10 months, was 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 has been vocal and frank about his campaign against black money and corruption in the run up to the 2014 polls.

“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 said.

The Prime Minister said his government’s intent to weed out both was made clear with the first decision of his cabinet, which was to form a committee to keep track of black money and devise ways and means to bring it back to the country’s treasury.

This was something, he said, that previous governments were reluctant to do.

“Immediately after we formed the government, we appointed a former Supreme Court judge to form a special investigation team to see where is the black money, how is the business working.

“This team is working and is reporting to the Supreme Court. Past governments were stalling this, we got it done.

“After I took this decision at my first cabinet meeting, didn’t people know I would be taking such decisions? I had hidden nothing. I am telling you.

“The country is listening to me. I have never kept the country in the dark. I have said this frankly and in honesty,” Modi said.

The Prime Minister said his numerous trips abroad were to carry out the much-needed alterations and modifications to agreements with foreign countries, to benefit India, adding that he had been able to convince even America to keep tabs and inform New Delhi about Indian money being routed in and out of its banks.

“I have done this with other countries and in other cases talks are on. We are making provisions to keep track of Indian from going abroad,” Modi said.

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