LUCKNOW: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address a public rally in Kanpur this afternoon as political action shifts from parliament to Uttar Pradesh where crucial elections will be held soon. Around the same time, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi will also address a rally about 300 km away in the state's Jaunpur, and is expected to renew his attack on PM Modi over the notes ban. The BJP mocked Mr Gandhi over the weekend, saying it is waiting for him to make his "earthquake revelation" after the Congress leader claimed last week that he has "information" on the "personal corruption" of PM Modi. The BJP has described it as the "joke of the year."
Rahul Gandhi led a united opposition in a focused attack on the government all through the winter session of parliament over the notes ban and has now vowed to make it a key election issue in UP. He addresses two rallies this week.
The winter session, which ended on Friday, was washed out as the government and opposition failed to agree on how to debate PM Modi's ban on 500 and 1,000-rupee notes and its impact on people amid a massive cash crunch that has followed.
The BJP has said the notes ban, aimed at eliminating corruption and black money, has the support of the people despite the inconvenience caused to them, described by PM Modi as "short-term pain" to be followed by "long-term gain."Javbuz.com
The ruling party has attributed its recent success in by-elections and civic elections in several states as evidence that the people support PM Modi in his decisions to remove corruption.
But some BJP lawmakers from Uttar Pradesh have reportedly told the party leadership that if the cash situation is not eased soon, it could impact the BJP's fortunes in the state elections.
The Reserve Bank of India or RBI on Saturday flew in Rs. 5,000 crore in a heavily guarded cargo plane to Uttar Pradesh, news agency IANS reported, quoting an unnamed official.
The move was seen as an attempt to ensure banks had enough money to distribute to people in the state ahead of the Prime Minister's rally today. In UP, like in other parts of the country, people have been queuing up at banks and ATMs for days to withdraw money in new currency, which has been in short supply after the demonetisation took out 86 per cent money in circulation.
Mr Gandhi has alleged that the Modi government's currency ban has punished only the poor and not the corrupt. He alleged that the demonetisation has "blocked" the money of the poor with the currency ban to favour a "handful of industrialists."
On the last day of the winter session PM Modi accused Congress leaders of always putting the "party before the nation," and told BJP lawmakers that his predecessor Dr Manmohan Singh and former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, had ignored basic steps to fight corruption, including recommendations for demonetisation.Javgo.me
The BJP and the Congress are placed in a four-corner contest in the state, pitted also against regional heavyweights, the ruling Samajwadi Party and Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party. The SP has said a partnership with the Congress would mean winning over 300 of UP's 403 seats together.