New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today warned unscrupulous elements not to play with the lives of the poor by depositing illegal money into their accounts as stringent law against 'benami' transactions were in place to deal with them, as he asked the youth and other sections to move towards a "cashless society".
"Even now, some people think they can bring their black money, the money earned through corruption or the one which is unaccounted for, back into the system through illegal means. Unfortunately, they are misusing the poor for this purpose by misleading, luring or tempting them by putting money into their accounts," PM Modi said in his first 'Mann ki Baat' radio programme after he announced the demonetisation move on November 8.
"A very stringent law to deal with 'benami' transactions is being implemented, that will make such things (transactions) very difficult. Government does not want the people to face such difficulties," the Prime Minister said in a veiled warning.
"I would tell such (unscrupulous) people that to reform or not reform is your wish. Following the law or not is your wish - that the law will take care of. But please don't play with the life of the poor. Don't do anything due to which, when there is an investigation, the name of the poor comes on record and he gets into trouble because of you," he said.
However, he said that wrong practices have become so entrenched that some people were still not mending their ways. "These people are trying to find ways to again bring their ill gotten wealth, black money, benami and unaccounted cash back in to the system. They are scouting for illegal ways to save their black money and unfortunately even in this pursuit they are looking to misuse the poor."
The Prime Minister, however, congratulated the people for facing difficulties but supporting demonetisation to fight graft and black money.
Efforts are being made to mislead the people against demonetisation move, but they were making sacrifices for a better India, he said, appealing to the youth, "the true soldiers", to lead the battle against corruption.
PM Modi's statement came amid opposition attacks and their demand that he replies to their concerns over demonetisation in Parliament.