Indian media: PM Modi's pledge to recover 'black money'

Mr Modi on Sunday assured the public about his promise of bring 'black money' back to India Mr Modi on Sunday assured the public about his promise to bring 'black money' back to India

Media in India are highlighting Prime Minister Narendra Modi's assurance on bringing illegal wealth stashed in foreign banks back to the country.

Addressing the nation on radio on Sunday, Mr Modi said such "black money" belonged to the nation's poor and that his government was on the "right path" to recovering it.

His assurance came after criticism that the government was not handling the issue properly, despite its decision to give the country's Supreme Court the names of all Indians suspected of holding untaxed money abroad.

The government handed over a list of 627 names to the court after initially naming only seven relatively unknown suspects, which had led to accusations that it was protecting powerful individuals.

In his radio address, Mr Modi defended his administration, saying that the issue was an "article of faith" for him, The Hindu reports.

"Whether it is two rupees or five rupees or crores [tens of millions], I am committed to getting that money back. I will not compromise anywhere," he said.

The First Post website notes that the speech "came at the right time, providing PM Modi an opportunity to clarify his stand on the whole issue".

"Accused of setting up a toothless strategy to deal with the black money issue, the PM sought the country's faith and promised that he will definitely get the black money back to India," the website says.

Toilet 'whistle-blowers'

Moving on to other news, president of the opposition Congress party Sonia Gandhi met her son-in-law Robert Vadra on Sunday following a controversy over his interaction with the media at an event in Delhi on Saturday, reports say.

Video footage widely aired on Indian television channels showed Mr Vadra angrily pushing a reporter's microphone and walking off after he was asked about some controversial land deals.

Mr Vadra is accused of benefiting from alleged irregularities in land deals in the northern state of Haryana - a charge he has consistently denied.

In 2012, an official inquiry in Haryana "cleared" him of any wrongdoing, but political controversies around the land deals continue.

Mr Vadra's office has now said he was not aware that the reporter was from the ANI news agency and that he assumed his interviewer was a "private internal photographer", the Zee News website reports.

And finally, a village near Indore district in the central state of Madhya Pradesh is planning to deploy "whistle-blowers" to end open defecation, a report in The Hindu says.

The local administration plans to enrol groups of schoolchildren who will blow loud whistles to embarrass those who defecate in open areas, the report says.

"It is not just enough to build… toilets to stop the practice of open defecation in rural areas. There is also a need to launch an effective social drive to check it," the report quotes a local official as saying.

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