A united Opposition in Rajya Sabha demanded apology from Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his comments made on Friday.
Modi’s comments had implied that those criticising him for lack of preparation in implementation were essentially those who hadn’t got time to prepare to dispose off their black money.
Had these people got even 72 hours, they would have lavished praise, he said a day after the opposition launched a massive attack on the government over the issue.
Speaking at a book launch event in Delhi, Modi said that there had been little criticism of the demonetisation decision.
“But still some people are criticising saying that the government did not make ample preparation. I think that is not the issue that the government did not make ample preparation. I think the pain of such people is that the government did not not give a chance to make any preparation,” Modi said.
“If these people had got 72 hours to make their preparation then they would have lavished praise that there is no one like Modi,” he stressed.
The Prime Minister observed that these days the country is fighting a big battle against corruption and black money and the ordinary citizen is the “soldier” in this fight.
In the last 70 years those who have misused the laws and Constitution have mired the country in corruption, he said.
Noting that India’s name features prominently in global corruption surveys which is not something to be proud of, he said, “To hold the nation’s head high some decisions have to be taken.”
The Prime Minister’s comments come in the backdrop of opposition attack in Parliament on demonetisation with former PM Manmohan Singh saying the step was “a case of organised loot and legalised plunder” and reflected a “monumental management failure”. .
His statement may be deemed as provocative at a time when opposition parties have come together against demonetisation. On Thursday, non-BJP parties came together to not allow the Rajya Sabha proceedings since Modi had left the House after lunch.