Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday said the government had decided to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes because they had failed to keep their poll promise of bringing back the black money taken as loans by the rich, who he said constituted just 1% of the population. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants to keep your money in banks for at least six to seven months so that he can waive off rich people’s loans,” he said.

Gandhi reiterated how the Centre’s decision had affected farmers and the coutnry’s poor. ”Don’t know why the prime minister did not target the 94% of black money but went after the other 6%. He targeted honest people who made up 99% of the population and not the remaining 1% who were corrupt.” The Congress leader also claimed that Switzerland had shared details of people who had undisclosed cash stashed in the country’s banks, but the Indian government had not acted on it.

“If the Narendra Modi government takes any big or small step to eradicate corruption, the Congress party will support them,” Gandhi said. The Centre’s demonetisation move was, however, not against black money but was against the poor in the country, he added, once again accusing the prime minister of not allowing him to speak in Parliament.

Moreover, Gandhi demanded an inquiry into allegations of corruption against Modi, accusing him of having received crores from the Sahara Group. He alleged that the Income Tax Department had not not taken action in the matter despite having the records. “The records are with I-T Department for the past two and a half years. Yet no action has been taken. An independent Inquiry must be initiated,” Gandhi said during a rally in Mehsana in Gujarat, where he also spoke about cases of Dalit atrocities in the Bharatiya Janata Party-governed state.

The BJP, however, dismissed his claims on Modi and Sahara, calling Gandhi “a part-time, non-serious political leader”. “It has become their [Congress’] habit to level baseless allegations against the prime minister,” Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said, adding that the Congress tenure was marred with corruption cases and scams, which Gandhi did not mention during his speech. “The Congress is making baseless allegations against our prime minister who is as pure as river Ganga,” he added.