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Demonetisation should have been done in 1971: Indian Prime Minister

Modi will hold a meeting with key ministers Wednesday before Parliament convenes to decide their strategy. Photograph: (Getty)

WION New Delhi, Delhi, India Dec 16, 2016, 01.36 PM (IST)

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said that Indira Gandhi rejected suggestions for demonetisation in 1971, saying she wanted to win elections.

Indira Gandhi sold out India by ignoring advice to demonetise, the prime minister said.

Implementation of demonetisation policy was required in 1971, but it was implemented now, Modi said, hitting out at the opposition during the ruling party's parliamentary meet. "For the Congress, party is bigger than nation; but for us, the nation is above the party," he said.

Modi also thanked chief ministers of India's eastern states of Odisha and Bihar for supporting demonetisation.

Prime Minister Modi said that unlike earlier when opposition parties stalled House proceedings against scams, Congress-led parties are now doing so against government's steps to curb black money and corruption.

He pitched for a digital economy as he urged masses to adopt it as a "way of life" to rid the society of corruption and black money.

Modi also noted that the Wanchoo Committee in the early 70s had recommended demonetisation when Indira Gandhi was Prime Minister, recalling that the then senior Left leader Jyotirmoy Basu had demanded its quick implementation, parliamentary affairs minister Ananth Kumar told reporters following the meeting.

On a day that marks the anniversary of Bangladesh's liberation, Modi also targeted the opposition over its remarks on the army's surgical strikes.

The opposition in 1971-72 did not seek evidence of the army's valour unlike that of today, he said.

(WION with inputs from agencies)

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