New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday targeted the Congress over corruption while referring to former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi’s comment that only 15 paise of Re 1 reaches masses and said the Congress government had done nothing to stop the leakage.

Without naming Rajiv Gandhi, PM Modi said: “You must have heard of an ex-prime minister talking of corruption. He said only 15 per cent of a rupee from Delhi reaches villages and that 85 paise disappears. For so many years, the party that ruled the country accepted this.”

The prime minister added that his government had stepped in to rectify the situation. The “85 per cent loot” taking place during the Congress regime had been plugged “100 per cent” through technology, he said.

“We have given about Rs 5,80,000 crore to people, transferred to their bank accounts through various schemes. Imagine, if the country was being run on the older system? Then Rs 4,50,000 crore would have vanished,” PM Modi said.

Continuing his attack on the Congress, he said efforts to stop the “leakage” could have been made earlier as well but there was no intention and will power.

“Our government is moving towards ensuring that the aid given by government is directly transferred to beneficiary accounts through direct benefit schemes,” he said.

The prime minister’s remarks came at the inaugural event of the 15th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in Varanasi.

The prime minster also lauded the people of Indian origin for carrying out leadership roles in countries such as Mauritius, Portugal and Ireland. He described NRIs as India’s brand ambassadors and said they were the symbols of the country’s capabilities.

PM Modi said that India is in the position to lead the world in several subjects, adding that it is among the fastest growing economic forces in the world.

PM Modi also said the NDA governemnt “identified 7 crore people who were not born but were taking benefits from the government…They were all living only on paper…This is a glimpse of the change that we have brought in the last four and a half years.”

Mauritian Premier Pravind Jugnauth, who is the chief guest for the three-day event, also spoke on the occasion.

He hailed the prime minister for India’s transformation through initiatives such as the Skill India and the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao schemes.

He also praised Modi’s global stewardship in promoting clean energy and for setting up the International Solar Alliance.

Jugnauth announced that his country will hold a Bhagwad Gita Mahotsav next month and a Bhojpuri Festival next year.

For the first time, the three-day convention is being organised from January 21 to 23 instead of January 9 to allow participants to visit the Kumbh Mela in Allahabad and attend the Republic Day parade in the national capital.

The theme of this year’s convention is ‘Role of Indian diaspora in building new India’.