Ghaziabad: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said the government's fight against black money was targeted at "big people" and "big babus" and that small traders need not worry.
He said this while addressing 'Parivartan Sankalp Rally' here on the penultimate day of campaigning for the first phase of Uttar Pradesh assembly elections, even as he hit out at the SP government for "nursing" crime and corruption.
The Prime Minister also emphasised on the importance of demonetisation exercise and the larger purpose for which it had been implemented. "My black money battle is against big people, big babus ('bade babus'), small traders are not on my agenda, I want to tell people... And, I will get money out of these big people," Modi said.
The Centre has been insisting that demonetisation is aimed at curbing black money, but small traders, who largely deal in cash, have felt the pinch as its fallout.
The Prime Minister also made a reference to a Karnataka minister, from whose premises huge undisclosed assets were seized last month. "I am after big people, big ministers amassing illegal wealth, not small businessmen. Recently, I-T found undisclosed money at the premises of a Karnataka minister," he said.
The Income Tax department had detected undisclosed assets worth over Rs 162 crore and seized Rs 41 lakh cash, besides over a dozen kg in gold and jewellery during searches on the premises of a Karnataka minister Ramesh L Jarkiholi and state Mahila Congress chief Laxmi R Hebbalkar.
Modi, in his speech, also attacked the Akhilesh Yadav government, alleging it was "sheltering" and "nursing" crime and corruption.
Modi said Akhilesh Yadav has disappointed those who had high hopes of him and "destroyed" the state in last five years. He also took a dig at SP-Congress alliance, saying, Samajwadi Party had stepped on to a "sinking boat".