Signalling the beginning of end of black money keepers in the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today challenged the corrupt to sustain in front of the 125 crore Indians.
While addressing a rally at Mumbai’s Bandra Kurla Complex after laying the Foundation for a grand memorial for Shivaji Maharaj, PM Modi vowed to continue his "fight until victory" against those who have accumulated unaccounted wealth and evaded taxes.
"If corrupt people are not scared of Modi and the government, it is okay, but they should be scared of the 125 crore people of the country who have set out as soldiers against corruption and black money. They will not be tolerated anymore," PM Modi said to loud cheers.
The people of India will not accept corruption and black money: PM @narendramodi— PMO India (@PMOIndia) December 24, 2016
He said his November 8 decision to recall 500 and 1,000 rupee notes was a "big attack" against those who have been milking the country's economy for their vested interests.
"The corrupt are trying their best to ensure demonetisation fails but the people of India have proved that they are with us in this battle," Modi said.
"There were efforts to mislead and even intimidate people. But they (the people) supported us in the battle against corruption and black money," he said in an obvious reference to the opposition's protests against the move that has caused an unprecedented cash crunch and economic upheaval in the country.
There were efforts to mislead and even intimidate people but they supported us in the battle against corruption & black money: PM— PMO India (@PMOIndia) December 24, 2016
Our battle to fight corruption has been going on since the day we assumed office. A historic decision was taken on 8th November: PM— PMO India (@PMOIndia) December 24, 2016
Development is the solution to all problems, it is the way ahead: PM @narendramodi— PMO India (@PMOIndia) December 24, 2016
Earlier in the day, PM Modi laid the Foundation for a Rs 3,600-crore grand memorial for Shivaji Maharaj off the city coast, an event that comes a few months ahead of the civic polls and amid tussle among parties to claim the legacy of the 17th century warrior king.
Modi, accompanied by select dignitaries, including Governor Vidyasagar Rao, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray, sailed in a hovercraft from Girgaum Chowpatty beach in south Mumbai to reach near the memorial site, some 1.5km off the coast.
The PM performed the 'jalpujan' at the designated spot, symbolically marking the start of construction of the magnificent memorial in the Arabian Sea, which, according to the state government, is going to be the tallest such structure in the world.
"Performing the Jal Pujan of Shiv Smarak was very special. Glad I got the opportunity," PM Modi said in his rally.
I am extremely delighted to be here, in this programme, with you all: PM @narendramodi in Mumbai— PMO India (@PMOIndia) December 24, 2016
Even in the midst of struggle, Shivaji Maharaj remained a torchbearer of good governance: PM @narendramodi— PMO India (@PMOIndia) December 24, 2016
Shivaji Maharaj was a multifaceted personality. So many aspects of his personality inspire us: PM @narendramodi— PMO India (@PMOIndia) December 24, 2016
Shivaji's descendants Udayanraje Bhosale and Sambhaji Raje (both Parliamentarians) were also on board the hovercraft.
Before the event, Fadnavis handed over to Modi a 'kalash' (vase) containing river waters and soil collected from all districts in Maharashtra.
When the hovercraft reached the memorial site, Modi immersed the 'kalash' in the sea. The PM also inspected a float depicting Shivaji Maharaj's coronation.