When the Prime Minister’s Office invited ministers for the cabinet meeting, they were advised not to carry their mobile phones along with them. On Tuesday, this was repeated before them hours before the crucial meeting. If this was not enough to raise the curiosity among ministers, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also asked all his cabinet ministers to be present in the meeting.
During the meeting, the agenda did have a few items to be discussed but nothing was mentioned about the biggest surprise of all, the demonetisation of high-value bank notes.
The matter was the first subject the prime minister briefed his ministers in the meeting. After the meeting he turned to a colleague and said this was the reason he had asked his ministers not to absent from the meeting.
A senior minister while speaking to HT said that at least three times in last four months the prime minister had told them to tell chartered accountants to be more sensitive towards black money and also the need to spread awareness against black money.
The paper also quoted a source as saying that along with the cabinet agenda an agenda was sent to ministers not to carry their mobiles, which was later reminded by the PMO.
The briefing by the PM was similar to the surprise address to the nation same evening. Most ministers watched his speech from the room where the cabinet meeting was held.