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Indian PM Modi: Demonetisation will empower and strengthen poor

The Prime Minister hit out at the opposition for demanding his presence in parliament yet not letting him speak. In photo: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 11, 2016. Photograph: (AFP)

WION New Delhi, India Dec 10, 2016, 07.52 AM (IST)

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday accused the opposition Congress of looting the common man for 70 years and vowed to continue fighting for the poor.

"You have looted the common man for 70 years and made it harsh for them to survive. I have come to fight for the poor and give power in their hands," said Modi while inaugurating dairy plants in Deesa city of western Gujarat state.

The 66-year-old politician slammed the opposition for not letting him speak in the parliament even after they demanded his presence.

"Government has always said we are ready to debate. I am not being allowed to speak in the Lok Sabha (lower house). So I am speaking in the Jan (common) Sabha," he said.

Emphasising the fact that demonetisation has been introduced with the intention of curbing black money and eradicating corruption, Prime Minister Modi said corruption has always pained the common man, making their lives miserable.

"Who is unhappy with corruption? Not those perpetrating corruption...it is the poor, the common citizens who are unhappy," he said. He added that the "evils" of black money and corruption were slowing India's progress and adversely affecting the poor.

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He further urged the people to move towards digital modes of payment and not waste their time outside of banks and ATMs.

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The Prime Minister thanked the people for standing by his side and encouraging his decision to demonetise.

"In spite of efforts by others to incite people, people have stood by me and supported the decision."

He assured people that they will see changes in time.

West Bengal state chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday criticised Modi's address saying, "Modi babu knows that #DeMonetisation now derailed. Except giving 'bhashan', he has no solution."

Urban development minister Venkaiah Naidu also hit out at the Opposition on Saturday, "Don't try to threaten us, we are ready for a debate, it is you (Opposition), who are obstructing the Parliament."

(With inputs from ANI)

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