New Delhi: The Congress on Friday hit back hard at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, asking him to go through history first to know who puts the party before the nation.
The hard-hitting Congress response came after Modi said the Congress put the party before the nation but the Bharatiya Janata Party follows "nation-first" ideology.
"Modi ji said the BJP is the only party which is nationalist; all others are anti-national. The trouble is, Modi ji doesn't know history, nor is he interested in knowing it. Modi ji should remember what his ideological masters did in 1947," senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal said.
"They were on the same side as the British. They opposed the freedom struggle led by the Indian National Congress. For them, organistation is first, the nation second. For us, the nation is always first. Today, Modi ji has forsaken both the nation and the party. He is busy trying to show his own image on television."
Sibal said: "Modi ji should read the (Indian) history and the history of his own party; then he'll get to know whose leaders sided with the British."
The Congress leader said if Modi wanted to fight black money, he should start from his own BJP.
"We want to ask which party has the most black money? Modi ji should ask himself that. If Modi ji wants to fight black money, he should start from his own party. When talking about black money, Modi ji should look at his own house."
The former Union minister said: "When Modi ji was giving speeches before 2014 (general elections), were people paying him in cheques? We want to ask, who was paying him in cheques? Which cheques are used to pay shakhas? In Jhandewalan (RSS office in Delhi), are all payments made through cheques?"
The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh office is located near the Jhandewalan temple in Delhi.
In reference to the N.N. Wanchoo Committee Report of 1971, Sibal quoted the first President of Independent India, Rajendra Prasad as saying: "I don't know how far, and to what extent, the new policy will be able to affect the person for whom it is intended. One thing is clear: A large number of people belonging to the middle and lower-middle classes will be hit hard on account of demonetisation of currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000."
"While we Congressmen have no sympathy for profiteers and dealers in the black market, it is not right to penalise honest Indians who, in good faith, have their savings in notes of demonetised value."
"These are the words of Dr Rajendra Prasad. Does Modi ji want to call Dr Rajendra Prasad a scamster? That he was anti-national."
On Friday, Modi defended the November 8 demonetisation and said it should have been undertaken in 1971 when Indira Gandhi was heading the government at the Centre.
Modi also mentioned the Wanchoo Report and that Y.B. Chavan told Indira Gandhi that there should be demonetisation.
Sibal said: "The Congress listens to the people. Because of demonetisation, crores of honest people have been rendered helpless by the Modi government. In Modi's own constituency Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, people are being rendered jobless. Who is benefiting? PayTM."
"Modi ji knows that if one uses PayTM to make payments, from that at least two per cent goes to PayTM. Whose earnings get hit? The small traders'," said the Congress leader.