New Delhi– Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said over 700 Maoists surrendered after the November 8 demonetisation and that it was the biggest such decision taken anywhere in the world.

He said these Maoists had surrendered in November and December last year and the process was continuing.

Replying to the debate on Motion of Thanks to the President’s address in the Rajya Sabha, Modi referred to Pakistan as “enemy country” and said it was shown on news channels that a dealer in counterfeit currency from that country had committed suicide after demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes by India.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Modi, who spoke at length on demonetisation, said the decision had caused a vertical divide in which people were on one side and leaders of the opposition on the other.

“It led to a vertical divide. The people’s mood on one side and that of leaders (of oppsition) on the other. They are so cut-off from the people. The government and the people are together,” Modi said to the thumping of treasury benches.

He said poor people suffered the most due to parallel economy and steps such as demonetisation were aimed at benefiting the honest.

“Such a big and comprehensive decision has never been taken in the world. Economists do not have a yardstick to map its impact. It was a big decision by India and aroused people’s power,” Modi said.

He said social scientists will also study its impact.

Modi referred to a book by former bureaucrat Madhav Godbole in which he said that the suggestion on demonetisation was not accepted by the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

As Congress members objected to his remarks, Modi said they should have raised their concerns when the book was published.

Modi said demonetisation had helped neutralise counterfeit currency.

“It was shown on TV that an operator of counterfeit currency in an enemy country committed suicide,” Modi said.

Referring to allegations by the Congress that demonetisation had not achieved its objective of curbing terror financing and new currency notes had been found on some slain miltants, Modi said there had been attempts to loot banks in Jammu and Kashmir following demonetisation.

“The notes were found on terrorists killed following bank lootings,” he said.(IANS)