Congress on Thursday demanded Prime Minister Narendra Modi apologize to the nation on the black money issue in the wake of "shocking admission" by BJP chief Amit Shah that the promise to deposit Rs 15 lakh in bank account of every family was just an 'electoral gimmick'.

Although the 'promise' was never realistic, the new interpretation suggests that BJP was looking for a way to wriggle out after being accused by political opponents of reneging on its poll promise. It may also indicate the difficulty the government was facing to repatriate black money from foreign shores. 

Shah's remarks came in response to a question during an interview to a news channel. "Modiji's statement was an idiomatic expression (jumla) that was given during the Lok Sabha polls. Everybody knows that this black money doesn't go to accounts of people," Shah said. During the Lok Sabha election campaign, Modi had often said if NDA comes to power it will ensure that Indian black-money invested illegally in tax havens abroad would be brought back to and this fund would be distributed to the poor, with each one getting Rs 15 lakh in their accounts. 

Then BJP president Rajnath Singh had even promised to get back black-money within 100 days of coming to power. "The black money that would return to the country from abroad will be used to help the poor and the needy through schemes, Modiji had said (meant) that. If Kejriwalji doesn't understand this then I pity him," Shah added. 

The BJP chief recalled some statements made by Aam Aadmi Party convenor Arvind Kejriwal and charged him with going back on the promises. He said "there is a difference between jumlas and promises" and alleged that Kejriwal had failed to fulfil the promises he had made. 

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