A BJP leader said the money would be spent on welfare schemes for the poor, modernising of defence forces, and improving schools. Archis Mohan reports.
Illustration: Uttam Ghosh/Rediff.com
According to government estimates, or so a top Bharatiya Janata Party leader claimed on Thursday, November 10, as much as Rs 6 lakh crore of unaccounted money was set to come back into the system after Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denomination currency notes have been demonetised.
The unaccounted money in the economy was to the tune of Rs 15.75 lakh crore.
In an informal interaction with journalists, the BJP leader said demonetising of currency notes was one among a series of steps the Narendra Modi government has taken, and will take in the months to come, as part of its crackdown on 'black money'.
The money, he said, would be spent on welfare schemes for the poor, modernising of defence forces, improving schools and creating infrastructure.
The BJP, just as it had used the Indian Army's 'surgical strikes' terror launch pads on the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir, use the Modi government's efforts to curb 'black money' in its election campaign in the state of Uttar Pradesh.
Assembly polls are due in Uttar Pradesh, along with four other states, by February.
The BJP leader said the criticism of demonetisation by the BJP's rivals in UP, Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati and the ruling Samajwadi Party, betrayed their frustration as the move has impacted their alleged 'war chest' of unaccounted money, which would have come to be used during the elections.
He exuded confidence that the UP election would witness a markedly lesser influence of money.
Those with 'black money' will not be spared, the leader said. He conceded that the BJP's traditional support base of traders was hit by the move.
"But we don't play vote bank politics. We are working for the poor of the country," he said, claiming that the move will in the days to come bring the dream of having a house within the reach of the common man.
In Lucknow, Mayawati said the decision to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denomination currency notes was akin to imposition of an 'undeclared economic emergency' in the country.
'Just before UP elections, Modi has realised the problem of black money after remaining in the saddle at the Centre for two-and-a-half years. Ninety per cent people are unhappy with this decision,' she said.
BJP National Vice-President and Lucknow Mayor Dinesh Sharma said those who used black money in politics and ticket distribution were uncomfortable about demonetisation.