Amid allegations that the BJP stalwarts had prior knowledge about the government’s moves to ban Rs 1000 and Rs 500 currency notes, party president Amit Shah on Friday said his party had no such information and also asserted that his party possesses “no black money”.
He also dared political rivals to make the currency ban an election issue and hoped BJP will benefit by the government’s efforts to fight the black money.
The polls are due by February-March next year in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Goa, and Manipur.
“We have no black money. We provide Election Commission with all relevant documents and returns,” Shah told a hurriedly-called press conference at the party headquarters.
“Why are Congress, Samajwadi Party, BSP, and AAP opposing decision which has rattled those with black money?” he asked.
Shah said Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, Samajwadi Party Supremo Mulayam Singh and Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati owe an answer for why they are opposed to the historic move which has hit hard the corrupt, terrorists, terror funding and black marketeers.
Stating that BJP had no clue about the government moves, he said “How could we know, even you people in media did not have any clue. Only those in constitutional positions and those involved in administrative works knew about it”.
In a stunning decision on November 8 night, Prime Minister Narendra Modi banned high-denomination notes and linked the move to crusade against black money and fake currency business as well as terror funding and those indulging in hawala operations.
He said the government moves were like a shocker for Hawala operators, terror financiers and those helping Naxals. He also said the genuine taxpayers have welcomed the government move.
“I want to make it clear that no genuine tax payer should be scared of the decision. The government has taken the measures by examining all aspects and government is committed to taking care of the welfare of the farmers and common citizens,” Shah said.
Answering questions, he said the BJP would like political parties to come to elections with currency ban as a major poll issue. “Let the people decide,” BJP president said.
“This decision has not been taken keeping elections in mind. But the manner in which our political rivals have reacted and are supporting those with black money, it seems we will get political benefits,” he said.
He asserted that the interests of small businessmen, housewives, farmers, laborers would be protected by the government.
“This decision (to ban Rs 1000 and Rs 500 notes) is a big blow to terrorists, naxalities, fake currency business and hawala operators. Common people need not worry,” he said and maintained despite some inconvenience people are generally appreciating the move.
Shah urged the media to help people get proper information and educate them about government’s intent and how they can exchange their currencies. People should be guarded against being misguided by campaigns by some quarters.
“This measure of the government is not against the poor. It is a different matter that some political parties have also become poorer due to government measures,” Shah said taking potshots at opposition parties and regional parties.
He lauded the manner in which banks and bank employees are cooperating with the government move and helping fight the menace of black money.
Shah complimented Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the decision.