India

India cash: Images of Modi's mother at bank hit headlines

Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi"s mother Heera Ba Modi (C) holds up a 2,000 rupee note after exchanging money at a bank in Rysan village, near Gandhinagar, some 30 kms from Ahmedabad on November 15, 2016. Image copyright AFP
Image caption Mr Modi's mother Heeraben exchanged her notes at a bank in a village near Gandhinagar in Gujarat state

Pictures of Indian PM Narendra Modi's 94-year-old mother changing banned notes at a bank have hit the headlines.

His mother, Heeraben, even posed with a new 2,000 rupee note outside the bank.

Modi supporters were quick to praise his mother for changing money like an ordinary person. But critics said she was being used for political ends.

Mr Modi has made emotional appeals to Indians to be patient after he banned 500 and 1,000 rupee notes in a crackdown on undeclared wealth.


Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Mr Modi says his mother has been a source for inspiration for him

People have been flocking to banks and ATMs to withdraw cash or exchange the old notes, resulting in chaotic scenes and long queues.

Police have had to be called in at some banks to calm tempers.

Mr Modi has asked people to remain calm and give his government 50 days to fully replace the banned notes with new ones. He added that the decision had been taken in the public interest to crack down on corruption and illegal cash holdings known as "black money".

His mother was caught in the full glare of media attention when she turned up in person at a village bank near the western city of Gandhinagar.

Some Twitter users said his supporters were sharing his mother's pictures in an attempt to pacify people who have been angered by the government move.

Image copyright Sahil Prasad
Image copyright Aniruddh Sharma

But others thanked Heeraben for setting an example.

Image copyright Shiva Naidu
Image copyright Rahul Ranjan

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