Pravasi Bharatiya Divas: PM Narendra Modi slams ‘political worshippers of black money’

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January 8, 2017

A few “political worshippers of black money” are opposing the government’s fight against corruption, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Sunday, in an apparent attack on parties that have criticised the Centre’s move to recall high-value banknotes.

January 8, 2017

A few “political worshippers of black money” are opposing the government’s fight against corruption, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Sunday, in an apparent attack on parties that have criticised the Centre’s move to recall high-value banknotes.

Delivering the keynote address at the 14th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas at Bengaluru on Sunday, Modi said his government had launched a “big campaign against black money and corruption”, only to be opposed by some “rajnithik pujaris (political worshippers) of black money” who dub the initiative as anti-people.

A day ago, the Prime Minister had asked BJP leaders to remain unfazed in the face of allegations that his government’s move to scrap Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes was affecting the people, and rebut the opposition’s charges of “personal corruption” against him.

Modi then went on to announce that his government will soon launch a skill development programme to aid unskilled youth seeking employment opportunities abroad. The scheme – called the Pravasi Kaushal Vikas Yojana – would ensure that workers planning to go abroad were provided “maximum facilitation” and not inconvenienced in the least, he added.

Hailing the contribution of the overseas Indian community to the development of their motherland as well as the countries they are settled in, he said the government was proactively trying to turn “brain drain into brain gain”. There was new energy among the diaspora to connect to India’s social and economic landscapes, Modi said, noting that their annual remittance of nearly $69 billion contributes immensely to the Indian economy.

Modi began his address by stating that Pravasi Bharatiya Divas was meant to mark the return of India’s greatest ‘pravasi’ – Mahatma Gandhi—to his homeland. He then paid glowing tributes to former Portugal president Mario Soares, who died at the age of 92 on Saturday.

Soares was widely regarded as the “father of democracy” in the country.

The Prime Minister then went on to highlight the BJP government’s efforts to rescue Indians stranded in conflict-hit countries. “The security of Indian nationals abroad is of utmost importance to us. External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj has been particularly proactive in reaching out to distressed Indians abroad through the social media,” he said.

Modi also announced a scheme for scientific communities abroad to conduct research in India.

Describing FDI as an abbreviation with two expanded forms – Foreign Direct Investigation and First Develop India – Modi asked the crowd if they were ready to work with him.

The answer was a resounding “Yes!”

The event, which had Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa as the chief guest, was also attended by Union ministers Ananth Kumar and Gen VK Singh, and Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah.

The Portugal Prime Minister, in his address, said his government’s focus was on achieving a strategic partnership that would work to the development of both the countries involved. Referring to his efforts to form a better framework for investment opportunities, Costa said: “We want to take advantage of our geographical position to attract foreign direct investment. As far as our relationship with India is concerned, I want to rely on its dynamic diaspora for the development of both the nations.”

The three-day event – held to mark the contribution of overseas Indians to the development of the nation – concludes on Monday, with President Pranab Mukherjee delivering the valedictory address.


Courtesy: HT

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