Modi taunts note ban critics

Bharuch (Gujarat), March 7 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday taunted critics of demonetisation and said the country was on the road to unprecedented economic growth.

“When we announced the decision to fight corruption and black money in November, many rumours were spread, allegations made that everything would collapse, the economy would crumble,” he said.

“Some people had to suffer. But the last quarter report suggests that the steps initiated in November have helped India move forward,” he added.

The Prime Minister was speaking at Bharuch in south Gujarat at an event to dedicate the ONGC Petro additions Ltd (OPaL) plant.

Modi on Tuesday began a two-day visit to his home state Gujarat after a gruelling election campaign in Uttar Pradesh.

Modi said India was the brightest star amidst a turbulent global economy.

He quoted several global corporate leaders and economists to hit out at critics of his decision of the November 8 demonetisation.

He said Apple Inc CEO Tim Cook, Microsoft chief Bill Gates and Nobel laureate Mohammad Yunus backed the demonetization of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 currency that caused an unprecedented cash crunch in the country.

“When black money is wiped out from the economy, every sector, be it social or economic, benefits. The world is viewing this decision with a lot of respect,” Modi added.

He said his government had also successful in curbing food prices.

“You would have seen this in the just concluded election campaign. All the parties accused us of many things but none could accuse us of not curbing price rise.”

Speaking at another public function at Bharuch to dedicate India’s longest cable bridge, the Prime Minister announced the launch of several projects for Gujarat.

This includes the conversion of several state highways into four lanes by according them the status of National Highways.

He said his government would spend Rs 12,000 crore for this purpose.

He recalled former Gujarat Chief Minister Keshubhai Patel and praised him for his vision for initiating several road projects in the state.

Modi displaced Keshubhai Patel to become Gujarat’s Chief Minister in 2001. The the Patel community is now up in arms against the ruling BJP in Gujarat.

Meanwhile, posters asking the PM “Go Back” surfaced surprisingly near the BJP state headquarters in Gandhinagar.

The posters are alleged to have been put up by protesters from the Patel community that has been agitating for quotas in government jobs and educational institutions for the last two years.

–IANS

desai/mr

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