NEW DELHI, Jan 7 - Playing the pro-poor card, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said they are the focus of his government and projected demonetisation as a long-term tool to fight black money and corruption to improve their lives.
Serving the poor is serving the god, he said in his concluding address at the two-day BJP national executive meeting in which he invoked a Sanskrit shloka to say that he does not covet power, heaven or second life but longs to end the people�s sufferings.
Modi again pitched for electoral reforms and sought a consensus among political parties, asserting that the BJP will play a lead role in making political funding transparent as demonetisation and digital economy have ushered in a more transparent era.
�BJP will be at the forefront of pushing transparency in political funding. People have a right to know where our funds are coming from,� he said.
With opposition parties levelling corruption charges at BJP leadership following the note ban, he asked party leaders to welcome criticism but they should remain unfazed by accusations even as he underlined his humble origins and had lived poverty.
Referring to coming Assembly elections in five states, including the crucial Uttar Pradesh polls, Modi expressed confidence that the party will win there. He referred to the impressive Lucknow rally he had addressed a few days ago and his interactions with workers in his constituency Varanasi to make the point.
It was the poor and his government�s initiative to empower them, which was the central theme of his 50-minute-long speech. �The poor of our poor country have accepted this historic decision (demonetisation). They have accepted that it is an effective step to end social ills including corruption... they have welcomed this historic step toward a great change,� Modi said, adding that the country has seen society�s strength in the last two months.
Later, briefing the reporters, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the Prime Minister asserted that the poor and poverty are not a tool for winning elections. �The BJP does not look at them through vote-bank glasses,� he added. � PTI