Note Ban Curbed Militancy: PM

SRINAGAR: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said that the demonetisation “curbed militancy” in India. He went on to say that militants in Jammu and Kashmir allegedly looted banks, however, “they were later killed by security forces”.

Speaking at length in Rajya Sabha, defending his government’s demonetisation move, Modi said, “worlds’ economists don’t know parameters to assess it [demonetisation]. What India did will be a case study for economists worldwide.” He said, like the Opposition, “I can also quote 10 foreign economists.”

The prime minister also claimed that the note ban “curbed” militancy in India. “In 40 days, almost 700 Maoists surrendered during [the] period of November-December. This happened for the first time,” said Modi. “Militants who looted banks in Jammu and Kashmir were also killed.”

“A few people are raising the issue of new notes being recovered from terrorists in Kashmir,” PM Modi said, “I want to tell the banks were looted by them and then they were shot dead by the forces.”

Modi also openly criticised his predecessor Dr Manmohan Singh, also a reputed economist. He expressed his surprise on how Singh’s image has not been tarnished even though he influenced the India’s economic policies for almost 35 years. “Only Dr Manmohan Singh Ji knows the art of how to take a shower with his raincoat on,” said Modi.

The prime minister went on a tirade against Congress. “Former bureaucrat Madhav Godbole in a book wrote that in 1971 Indira Gandhiji was advised by then FM [finance minister] to demonetise, but she rejected the idea. Why did you [Congress MP Anand Sharma] not sue Madhav Godbole?” asked Modi.

After his remark on Singh, the Congress MPs staged a walkout.

Modi also said that demonetisation was a fight against corruption. “The fight against corruption is not a political one,” he added.

The prime minister said that the government had the full support of the people ever since he announced that Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes would not be legal tender on November 8, 2016. “For the first time, a horizontal divide was visible. Mood of the people completely different from [the] mood of politicians,” Modi said.

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