Akhilesh slams Modi Govt.'s demonetisation drive, says 'nothing black or white'

| Updated: Jan 24, 2017 21:42 IST

Sultanpur (Uttar Pradesh) [India], Jan. 24 (ANI): Launching a vehement attack on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over the demonetisation of high-end currency notes, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Tuesday opined the money is not black or white, but the transactions are and said it was only the common man who faced the sole brunt of the drive. Akhilesh even talked about the feud that recently plagued the first family of Uttar Pradesh and termed it as 'for the betterment of people'. Setting off his election campaign at Sultanpur, Yadav said at a rally, "It's the common man who suffered the most because of demonetisation. So many people lost their lives. People were not able to withdraw their own hard-earned money. The money earned through hard work and integrity was declared black." "There's nothing black or white in this world. Money is not black or white; the transactions are. And what black money can a common man have? The black money is possessed by the people living in the big cities. Did you see those affluent people in the ATM lines? Only the common man was seen and weird incidents were reported," he added. Akhilesh took potshots at Prime Minister Narendra Modi too and said a country cannot function if one person decides that the currency notes of 500 and 1000 won't be legal tender after midnight. Continuing his tirade against the opposition, Akhilesh said that the BJP has not launched any scheme that even closely compares to the schemes launched during his regime in the state. "We have helped these people in the difficult times. And that is the only way through which development can be achieved. Had the BJP known ways to develop the state and the nation, there would be development all around. In the three budgets announced till date, there has been nothing for the poor. There's no scheme launched by the BJP that even closely compares to the Samajwadi's Pension Scheme," he said. The Chief Minister accused the BJP of framing the 2017 Union Budget by plagiarising his party's agenda. "They said 'acche din aa jaayenge'. I want to ask the people where the 'acche din' are. They gave a slogan and some people blindly followed it. They gave a 'jhaadu' (broom) in our hands instead. They made us do yoga. Now, the fourth budget of their government is about to come and I am sure that they will copy everything the Samajwadi Party has done for the state," Yadav said. Referring to the family feud, Akhilesh said, "You must have read a lot in the newspapers that we fought a lot. We actually did. The opposition dubbed it in a totally different light." "But the whole fight was about the people of the state. It was about how to provide the people with a better life. We promise to give 24-hour supply of electricity," he added. Talking about the recently launched manifesto, Akhilesh said that the promises made in the last manifesto were fulfilled and assured to fulfil all even this time. "Whatever we have done for the state is for you to see. The promises we made in the manifesto of the last assembly polls have been fulfilled," he said. Akhilesh added, "We have brought a new manifesto this time. The measures that should be taken to take the state and the country forward on the path of holistic development be it improving the economic policies, the infrastructure or providing basic necessities of life to the poor and underprivileged -- we have included them all in the manifesto. I can say with the most certainty that there's no gap between what we say and what we do. Hence, I have faith in the people of this state that whoever is in the opposition, it's the 'Cyclewala' (the Samajwadi Party) who's going to win." Enthused about his victory in the assembly elections, Akhilesh repeatedly enlisted the development works undertaken and accomplished by their government. Akhilesh said, "No government in the whole country has worked as much as us. Does the '108' ambulance reach till the villages in any other state? The '108' ambulance didn't even exist five years back." Giving a new 'colour' to their sari-distributing scheme, Akhilesh added, "Netaji promised that when the Samajwadi Party comes to power, it will give two saris each to every woman of the state. But we didn't give any. Had we given, there would be fights on the colour of the saris. So, we decided to enroll all underprivileged women of the state in the Samajwadi Pension Scheme and till date, more than 55 lakh women of the state have been registered under the scheme." Referring to the unique bid to woo the voters -- distributing smart phones to people, Akhilesh said it is aimed at bringing the people closer to the government. "We have distributed smart phones in villages and to students who have done well in their exams. I am glad that more than one crore 40 lakh people have registered for this. We are doing this because we want to connect you directly with the government," he said. He added, "If you have to stand in the long queues outside the government office or simply don't know anything about a welfare scheme initiated by the state government, you can ask us. These smart phones will enable you to directly access the government for any kind of query, facility or information." Commenting on the development of roads in the state, Akhilesh said, "We emphasise on developing the infrastructure of the state because a country like the United States built roads and the roads, in turn, built the nation. So as soon as our government came into power, we started working on developing the roads." "The developed nations of the world first developed facilities which could lead the youth of the nation to a better future. This is the state of the youth and if we talk about the country, it's said it is the country with most number of youth in the world. So along with the development of roads and providing a separate 'mandi' to the farmers, we are also working towards providing skill and vocational training to the youth of the state. Recently, we admitted 70,000 youth into the police forces. We assure you that the recruitment process will be made easier," he added. The Chief Minister also highlighted other schemes like distributing milk, ghee and fruits in schools and established the logic that went behind them. "Questions were raised when we said that we'll give one kg of desi ghee to the students in the primary schools. Milk is found in abundance in villages, but there are still some families which are not able to relish it. We decided, hence, to provide fruits and milk on a day each every week to the students. We gave them bags and utensils. And for the women of the state, we have decided to give them a pressure cooker each," he said. "We helped the farmers by giving them 'Fasal Durghatna Beema Yojana'. The people started believing in '108' and '102' again. We have done the same for the police too. Earlier, if the officer is not in a good mood, he could use a different language, that we all know about. We installed the '100' service in villages too," he added. Taking another sardonic shot at the opposing parties, Akhilesh quipped, "The Home Secretary said they have been receiving many calls from Uttar Pradesh, most of which were to check whether the phone is picked up at all." The Chief Minister earlier on Sunday launched the party manifesto for elections, which focused entirely on women and youth empowerment. Later that day, the Samajwadi Party-Congress alliance was formally announced. Akhilesh, along with other leaders from both parties, has initiated the campaign for the upcoming polls in the state. He is expected to address another rally in Lakhimpur on January 25. The poll process in the state begins on February 11. 73 constituencies in Western UP will go to polls in this phase. Uttar Pradesh is set to have a seven-phase polling between February 11 and March 8. (ANI)