Facing criticism over the economic slowdown, prime minister Narendra Modi on Monday reiterated his commitment to root out corruption, as he warned offenders with strict action, saying he has no relatives to benefit from corruption.
Modi’s emphasis on the anti-corruption crusade unleashed by him came at a time when his move to ban high denomination notes last year to curb black money is being held responsible for fuelling sudden drop in national income.
The BJP’s political opponents and several economic experts have pointed out that demonetisation had failed to achieve its stated objectives of rooting out black money, curbing counterfeit currency and blocking funding of terrorists.
Speaking at BJP’s national executive meet, which was attended by the ruling party’s functionaries from across the country, Modi emphasised on his uncompromising position in tackling corruption.
The PM told his party colleagues that he had no relatives to benefit from the fight against corruption, as he promised strict action against the offenders. “My battle against corruption is uncompromising. Anyone caught indulging in corruption will not be spared. I have no relatives (to benefit),” the PM said.
“Jo koi bhi isme paka jayega, wo bachega nahi (whoever is caught will not be spared),” said finance minister Arun Jaitley, quoting the prime minister.
The BJP’s national executive meet was widely believed to be for preparing party workers for the 2019 general elections. The PM and the BJP president Amit Shah wanted to galvanise the workers on the ground to take forward the message of the government to the electorate.
The BJP also adopted a six-point agenda to rid the country of poverty, terrorism, casteism, communalism and corruption.
The PM also told party functionaries that democracy should be seen beyond elections. He said the conventional politics of winning elections is ongoing but the faith reposited in the party by the people is a means to take democracy forward.
Jaitley said the PM in his speech asked the functionaries to make the BJP an instrument of mass participation to improve people’s quality of life.
He also elaborated on the idea of a “New India” initiated by him and asked party workers to take all the government schemes to the public and become a bridge between the organisation and the people.
The prime minister also dismissed opposition’s charge, saying the use of harsh language cannot be the substitute for concrete charges against the government. He said the opposition had not come up with any substantive allegations against the government.
Earlier, Amit Shah took on the Congress for promoting dynasty politics. He also claimed that there is not a single allegation of corruption against the Modi government.
Shah criticised Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi over his remarks on dynastic politics and said the BJP believed in the politics of performance while the Congress banked on the “politics of appeasement and dynasty.”
In his inaugural address at the BJP national executive, Shah said President Ram Nath Kovind, vice president M Venkaiah Naidu and prime minister Narendra Modi had reached their position due to their work, despite their humble origins.