Answering criticism over demonetisation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday asserted in Lok Sabha that the timing for the decision was perfect as the economy was doing well and hit out at Congress whose record he questioned with regard to various issues. 

Replying to a debate on Motion of Thanks on the President’s Address which was adopted by the House later amid walkout by Congress, he replied point-by-point to the issues raised by the Opposition, including surgical strikes and allocations for MNREGA, agriculture sector and for Scheduled Castes. Opposition had moved 190 amendments to the Motion which were negated.

In his 90-minute speech, which was punctuated by protests by some Opposition members at certain points, Modi also raised pitch for simultaneous elections to Lok Sabha and Assemblies, asking all parties to consider the proposal, rising above political considerations as “everybody will face some difficulty” if it is implemented.

Here are some of the important points from his speech:

  • “Some people have said why was this (demonetisation) decision taken when the economy was doing well…It was the best time for demonetisation as the economy was strong. Had the economy been weak, then we could not have done it successfully.” 
  • “Don’t assume that Modi does anything in a haste. For that, you will need to study Modi.”
  • “Before subjecting a patient to surgery, a doctor checks all the parameters of the patient and only when those parameters are fine, is the operation done.”
  • “We do not see everything from the prism of elections. The interests of the nation are supreme for us.”
  • “Bhukamp aa hi gaya, koi to kaaran hoga, dharti maa rooth gayi hongi.(What was the cause of the earthquake? Mother earth might be displeased).”
  • “I have never heard them (Congress) talking about Bhagat Singh or Azad. According to the India got freedom only because of one family.”
  • “Earlier it was – How much we have lost? And now- How much did Modi bring? This is how discourse has changed after we have assumed office.”
  • “The decision on demonetisation is a movement to clean India. My fight is for the poor and giving the poor their due. This fight will continue.”

(With inputs from PTI, Reuters, ANI)