- Rajiv Gandhi had said 15 paise of every rupee reaches the downtrodden
- PM attacked Congress over corruption, said it did nothing to stop leakage
- PM Modi was speaking at Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas event in Varanasi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi targetted the Congress using a famous remark made by former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1985 that only 15 paise of every rupee meant for welfare of downtrodden reaches them.
Without naming Rajiv Gandhi, PM Modi referred to his comment that only 15 paise of a rupee reaches the masses and said the Congress government had done nothing to stop the leakage."You must have heard of an ex-prime minister talking of corruption. He said only 15 per cent of a rupee from Delhi reaches villages and that 85 paise disappears. For so many years, the party that ruled the country accepted this," PM Modi said in Varanasi at an event to mark the Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas.
The prime minister added that his government had stepped in to rectify the situation. The "85 per cent loot" taking place during the Congress regime had been plugged "100 per cent" through technology, he said. "We have given about Rs 5,80,000 crore to people, transferred to their bank accounts through various schemes. Imagine, if the country was being run on the older system? Then Rs 4,50,000 crore would have vanished," PM Modi said in his Lok Sabha constituency.
PM Modi described NRIs or Non-Resident Indians as the country's brand ambassadors and said they were the symbols of the country''s capabilities. The prime minister was inaugurating the 15th Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas convention in Varanasi.
"I consider NRIs India's brand ambassadors. They are the symbols of our capacities and capabilities," he told the gathering.
"People of Indian origin are in leadership roles in countries such as Mauritius, Portugal and Ireland," he said.
PM Modi had attacked the Congress in the past too by referring Rajiv Gandhi's comment. "Wasn't there money available before? (Road Transport and Highways) Department before? Engineers before? And people's demand before? Yet it didn't happen. Why? That's because, as one of the Congress prime ministers said, only 15 paise out of every rupee spent on development reached the villages," he had said in September last year in Chhattisgarh.
The prime minister had cited Rajiv Gandhi's comments at a rally in Karnataka 2017 as well, asking which was the "hand" that reduced every rupee to 15 paise before reaching its beneficiary.
(With inputs from PTI)