January 7, 2017 9:31:28 pm
Prime Minister Narendra Modi told the BJP national executive on Saturday that the poor and poverty were not vote-banks for the BJP, but “an opportunity to serve” and that demonetisation was a long-term tool to improve their lives.
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“The poor… have accepted this historic decision (demonetisation). They have accepted that it is an effective step to end social ills including corruption,” he said. “For us, the poor and poverty are not just about winning elections, we do not look at them only through the lens of vote-bank politics. This is our opportunity to serve because serving the poor is equivalent to serving the Lord. I was born into poverty and have lived it. Do not be scared of any criticism or accusations. Our inner conviction will see is through,” the prime minister said during the concluding speech at the two-day national executive, which, among other things, set the tone for the party’s electoral battle in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa, Punjab and Manipur.
Defending the decision to demonetise high-value currency notes, he said unregulated flow of currency is the “mother of corruption” and that cash fuels “the evil of benami property”.
Modi also warned party activists against putting pressure on the leadership for tickets for their family members.
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