Deesa (Gujarat), Dec 10: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said people queuing up at banks and ATMs after demonetisation were doing so for the larger good of the country in keeping with its tradition of selflessness but also stressed that they should adopt e-banking.
"In times of scarcity, the old people in our country leave something for the young and near and dear ones even if they have to undergo difficulties. This is our culture of selflessness," Modi said while addressing a large gathering here in north Gujarat.
He was here to inaugurate the Banaskantha District Cooperative Dairy's Rs 350 crore cheese and whey powder plant.
The Prime Minister also launched A-2 Kankrej breed cow conservation project.
He acknowledged the hardship the people were facing after the government scrapped old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes but pointed out they were willing to do so in the larger fight against black money and terrorism.
Assuring the people that the situation would begin to normalise after 50 days and eventually be good for them, Modi said: "Everyone would start noticing and experiencing the difference."
Meanwhile, scores of Congress workers led by three legislators from north Gujarat, who organised a chakkajam at three locations on the Deesa-Patan highway, were rounded up by police. Legislators Govabhai Desai, Mahendrasinh Baraiya and Joitabhai Patel asserted that Modi had gone back on his promises as the Chief Minister for 13 years and Prime Minister for over two years and now had pushed the people into a major crisis.
Modi referred to the logjam in Parliament over demonetisation and said the Opposition had brought the situation to such a pass that President Pranab Mukherjee virtually pleaded with them to let the houses function.
"Though the government has agreed the Opposition is not letting me speak in Parliament over the issue. So I have to adopt this route (of addressing public gatherings)," he said.
"No opposition party whatsoever has asked me even once to roll back the decision of demonetisation. They have a problem only with the way it has been implemented."
"Criticise me as much as you want, in whatever ways you want, but prepare people for electronic banking, teach them how to use it. It is the need of the hour," the Prime Minister said. He exhorted the people to shift to e-wallets and debit and credit cards instead of spending time in standing in queues.
Later, in a surprise detour from his scheduled programme, the Prime Minister went to meet his mother Hiraba at her residence in Raisan on the outskirts of Gandhinagar.
He spent nearly 25 minutes with his mother, who lives with his brother at Raisan near Gandhinagar, before reaching BJP state headquarters, Sri Kamalam, which is close by.
This was Modi's first visit to Sri Kamalam after taking over as Prime Minister. He met parliamentarians, legislators and other party leaders in person. It is believed that he discussed party affairs in Gujarat in view of the assembly elections next year.