Agra, Nov 20 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday sought people's support for his demonetisation decision, saying that the country will emerge victorious after this "test by fire".
"As I said on the very first day when I announced the decision, it is a time-consuming process. It will cause inconvenience and a little hardship. But, I believe, the nation will come out victorious from this test by fire," Modi said at a public rally in the city of the Taj in Uttar Pradesh.
He said his government has been flexible in implementing the demonetisation decision and effected alterations as the need arose.
Only the corrupt rich were worried and those who had cheated the people, he said.
"They are asking me questions, the dishonest people who had made life difficult for the poor all these years. The poor and the middle income group people were forced to convert white into black to pay schools or buy houses. These dishonest people exploited and looted the people hurting the economy," he said.
He raked up the chit fund scam to hit out at West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress which has been rallying against demonetisation.
"I know what kind of people are opposing me and leading the charge against me over demonetisation. Doesn't the country know about the people involved in chit funds?"
"Millions of people invested their hard earned money in this chit funds and under the blessings of politicians all this hard money disappeared in the scam. Many people lost their lives," he added.
"And today, these people are levelling charges against me," Modi said, referring to the chit fund scam in which several leaders of the West Bengal's ruling Trinamool Congress were arrested and interrogated.
Modi's attack comes days after Banerjee led a march to Rashtrapati Bhavan, demanding roll-back of the demonetisation decision and seeking President Pranab Mulkherkjee's intervention in the matter.
Indirectly targeting Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati, Modi said legislators had to offer money for tickets. "Some people have lost their all but this 'khel' (game) should stop now. Rights of the poor and the middle classes had to be redeemed."
He counselled people not to "let others use your Jan Dhan acccounts. They (paapis -- sinners) will refuse, but you will be in trouble if there is an inquiry".
Reiterating his plea to give him 50 days to tide over the hardships caused by the move, Modi said he took the demonetisation decision not to trouble anyone but for the welfare of the coming generations.
"I have asked for 50 days. It's been just 10 days and over 5,000 crore rupees have already been deposited in banks... the banks will infuse this money in the markets," he said.
What will the banks do with the money that has come in just ten days, he asked. "Obviously they will give loans to small people, shopkeepers, at reduced interest rates."
Assuring that the sacrifices by the people after demonetisation won't go in vain, Modi said the spiking of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes caused difficulties to many but for those "who had looted the country", it has been a "punishment for lifetime".
Earlier, the Prime Minister launched the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Grameen) and inaugurated the fourth Mathura-Palwal railway line.
He also assured people of fulfilling the government's commitment of a house for every Indian by 2022 and gas connection for every poor household.