Stressing that three former chief ministers were “rotting in jail”, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said no one would be spared in the government’s anti-graft drive as he urged the youth to join him in the fight against corruption and black money. Speaking at an NCC rally here, he also made a strong pitch for the use of Aadhaar, saying it had added great strength to India’s development by curbing leakages and helping government money reach targeted beneficiaries. Aadhaar’s legality has been challenged in the Supreme Court and a Constitution bench is hearing the matter. Modi said people used to believe that the rich and powerful were not affected by anti-corruption drives and asserted that it was no longer true. Getting rid of this “termite” of corruption would help the poor the most, he told the cadets. “Sometimes, there was a sense of disappointment that there is big talk about (combating) corruption but the big and mighty go scot-free. Today, you are going through a phase when three former chief ministers are rotting in jail,” he said.
Former Bihar chief ministers Lalu Prasad and Jagannath Mishra were recently convicted and sentenced in a fodder scam case. Former Haryana Chief Minister O P Chautala is also in jail in connection with a corruption case. “Who says there is no God? Who says there is no justice at the hands of God? Now no one is going to escape,” the prime minister asserted. Modi said the youth of India did not accept corruption but the fight against graft and black money would be a long one. “Will merely expressing anger and hatred (towards corruption) work? …We have to wage a long battle. The fight is not going to stop. This fight against corruption and black money is to make the future of youngsters. And if this makes the future of my youngsters then this also makes the future of my country,” he said. He sought the help of NCC cadets and other youngsters in promoting digital transaction, saying it would curb graft. Modi also made a strong pitch for the use of Aadhaar, saying it had helped save Rs 60,000 crore as money earlier went into the “wrong hands”.
“These days you keep hearing about Aadhaar. I want to say Aadhaar has added great strength to India’s development. What would earlier get into wrong hands is now going to the intended beneficiaries,” he said. Modi added that when money was spent at the right place, it helped in building good education infrastructure for poor children, built roads in villages and opened up the scope to work for under-privileged people.
Exhorting the youth to promote the use to digital transactions, he said, “My young friends, I am here to ask for something. No, I am not here for seeking votes or politics. My appeal is — please further digital transactions through (the BHIM App). Please also get others on that platform. This is a step towards transparency and accountability.” He also appealed to the cadets to connect with at least 100 families in this mission which would further the cause of transparency and accountability.