Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said the sacrifice of the people of the country owing to the recent decision to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes would not be in vain, ANI reported. He was addressing a crowd at the inaugural function of his flagship project to provide affordable houses to the poor by the end of 2022– Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana. The function was organised in Agra in the poll-bound state of Uttar Pradesh.

The prime minister started his address with talking about the train derailment in the state on Sunday morning that left more than 97 people dead. “Many people lost their lives, got injured in train derailment near Kanpur this morning. Rescue operations [are] continuing,” he said, adding that there would be a central inquiry into the incident. He said his government was committed to the poor in the country. “Pradhan Mantri Jan dhan Yojana was started so that the poor can have bank accounts,” he said.

He said the poor in the country has supported his government’s demonetisation move despite hardship, and lauded them for their patience. “The initiative of demonetisation was highly appreciated by poor people, despite facing difficulties they supported us,” he said.

Modi said he had told the nation that there would be some initial inconveniences, but asserted that the decision was taken for the greater good. “Rs 500/1000 notes band karne se aap sabko takleef hui, lekin kuch logon ki toh saari zindagi tabaah ho jaaye, aisa dand diya hai [You have been inconvenienced by the scrapping of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, but the move has destroyed lives of many people [those who hoard black money].” He reiterated that things will return to normalcy in 50 days.

Bahujan Samaj Party leader Mayawati criticised the PM for not visiting the train derailment site though he addressed a rally in the state. “Dukh ki baat hai ki wo [PM Modi] wahan [Kanpur derailment site] nahi gaye, doosron ke dukh mein shaamil hona unke mijaaz mein nahin [It is sad that the prime minister did not visit the Kanpur train derailment site. It isn’t his thing to partake in people’s grief],” she said. The former UP chief minister said the people of the country would not vote for the BJP in the upcoming state elections because of their step to demonetise high-currency notes.

On the same day, Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah said the opposition parties were climbing “the same tree like rats, cats and snakes” to escape the demonetisation “flood”, PTI reported. He urged the people to give 15 years to the Narendra Modi government to take the country to new heights.

Speaking at a rally in Chandigarh, Shah said, “After the operation, one has to tolerate some pain, but rest of the life will be healthy.” He criticised the opposition parties for attacking the government about the demonetisation move. The state is going for Assembly elections in 2017.