- "Rs 15 lakh will come slowly, not all at once": Ramdas Athawale
- "The government does not have so much money," he said
- His latest statement is seen by many as a blunder
On Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 2014 comments on bringing black money to India, often raised by opposition parties to target him and the ruling BJP, Union Minister Ramdas Athawale's latest statement is seen by many as a blunder. He told reporters on Monday that "Rs 15 lakh in every account" will reach people slowly, and not in one go.
"15 lakh rupees will come slowly, not all at once. The government does not have so much money. The RBI (Reserve Bank of India) was asked for money but they are not giving. So the amount cannot be collected. An assurance was given but there are some technical issues," Mr Athawale said while speaking to reporters in Maharashtra.
While campaigning for the national election in 2014, PM Modi had said that the volume of black or untaxed money stashed in banks abroad was such that if brought back, every person in the country would have Rs 15 lakh each in their bank account. He had also talked about bringing back black money within 100 days of coming to power. Those comments have often been raised by the Congress when it lists the ruling BJP's broken promises.
Mr Athawale, who is known for shooting his mouth off, is the union minister of state for Social Justice and Empowerment. Speaking on the BJP losing three states to the Congress in recent elections, he said: "The Congress has won elections in a few states. But we will defeat them in the coming Lok Sabha elections. Narendra Modi will again become Prime Minister."