Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said he is working on a formula on how to send the corrupt to jail, who deposited their money in Jan Dhan accounts of poor after demonetisation and ensure this money goes to the poor households.
Responding to criticism over long queues outside banks and ATMs since the note ban decision on 8 November, he accused his rivals of trying to “spread disinformation and despair” and said “this will be the last queue for the people who have been standing in line for the last 70 years for their daily needs”.
“All those who are Jan Dhan account holders, you should not return the money that others have put in your accounts. If you promise to do so, I am working hard on to devise a formula to send all those who deposited their money illegally into your accounts to jail and to ensure the money goes to the poor households,” Modi said addressing a public rally in Moradabad.
Jan Dhan accounts were opened under a special campaign for providing banking facilities to the poor launched by the Modi government in August 2014. He said the corrupt rich are not doing any favour, as they have looted this money from the poor in all these years.
“I salute the people of the country for standing for long hours in queues. I want to ask those politicians who are crying over these long queues. You kept the entire nation in queues for 70 years after independence, as one had to stand in lines for even sugar, kerosene and wheat in the past. This is the last queue to end all those queues,” he said to applause from the crowds.
The prime minister said only the honest can queue up outside the banks to deposit the money, while the corrupt are standing outside the houses of poor. Modi said he was being hounded by his rivals as “culprit” on the note ban issue and pledged that this fight against the corrupt and corruption shall not stop “come what may”. “I am being hounded as if I have committed some crime by waging a battle against graft. But, what can my opponents do to me? I am a fakir (hermit)…jhola ley kar chaley jayenge (I will exit with my few belongings),” he said.
Modi was addressing Bharatiya Janata Party’s Parivartan Yatra to mobilise public support ahead of the upcoming assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh. Tearing into the opposition, he said, “Some call me a culprit. Is it a crime to fight corruption which is at the root cause of all ills prevailing in the country for the past 70 years?”
Without naming any party, Modi made a subtle reference to Congress when he said that the 1.25 crore people were his leaders and he had no high command. “You are my leader. I have no high command,” he said. His attack against the opposition came in the backdrop of their protests inside and outside Parliament on note ban, where the winter session has so far been almost washed out with the uproar eclipsing the proceedings every day. Talking tough, Modi said corruption will not go on its own and has to be wiped out.