Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said he was fighting a war against corruption and black money for the public. At a rally in Moradabad, Modi said certain people were accusing the government of wrongdoing for fighting against black money. “I am fighting this war for you, what will those accusing me do? I am a fakir; [I] will exit with my little belongings,” he said, according to ANI.

“Is fighting corruption a crime? Why are some people calling me a wrongdoer for fighting corruption?” Regarding the government’s anti-corruption drive and the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes, Modi said people who used to hoard black money were now queuing up outside the houses of the poor in an attempt to get them to store their undisclosed wealth. The government was finding ways to jail those who were depositing their black money in accounts opened under the Jan Dhan Yojana scheme, he added.

The prime minister said he became an MP from Uttar Pradesh to begin a fight against poverty in the state. Modi said it was essential to develop states like UP, Bihar and Maharashtra to eradicate poverty from the country. He said the National Democratic Alliance government was fulfilling its polls promise of electrifying India’s villages within 1,000 days. “You, the people are my high command and no one else,” the prime minister said.

In a bid to tackle counterfeit cash and black money issues, on November 8, Modi had announced that Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 would no longer be legal tender, following which there has been a severe cash crunch in the country. However, the move has been heavily criticised by the Opposition and economists. On Thursday, NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Arvind Panagariya had said it was “probable” that the prime minister had announced the move earlier than expected.