'Selling Crown Jewels': Rahul Gandhi Slams Monetisation Plan, BJP Hits Back
BJP hits back at Congress for the criticism and stated that the opposition party is a "non performing asset."
A day after Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman unveiled the government's four-year National Monetisation Pipeline (NMP) worth Rs 6 lakh crore, the Congress and other political parties on Tuesday, 24 August, lashed out at the union government for their decision to monetise the assets.
Selling the 'Crown Jewel' Assets
Former Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of introducing a process of "selling the crown jewel" assets built by his party over the last 70 years.
He also contended that the Congress is not opposing the privatisation process but "the entire NMP is designed to create a monopoly".
Addressing a press conference at the party headquarters, along with former Finance Minister P Chidambaram, Gandhi said:
"The Prime Minister and the BJP said that the Congress had done nothing in last 70 years. There is a list here of all the assets that the Congress has helped build using the public money. Now, the prime minister is in the process of selling the crown jewels of this country."
Listing out the sectors that are going to be privatised, Gandhi said that these are being sold and one can guess to whom it is going. "And frankly, these will go to three to four people," he said.
Assailing the government, Gandhi said: "I want to tell the youths, your employment has been snatched, for farmers, three special farm laws have been made. And today I want to say what Prime Minister plans to give to his industrialist friends."
Reiterating that these are going to be given to "only three to four people," Gandhi said: "This is your future. Your future is being sold to these three four industrialists. It is reality."
"I had warned about COVID and you all made fun of me. When this starts your chances of getting employment will be less. The assets of India are being sold and it is an attack on your future," he said, adding that the Prime Minister is not working for India but "for three or four people".
Poiting out the difference between privatisation under the United Progressive Alliance government and the current government, Gandhi said, "We did not privatise strategic assets. We never used to privatise any national loss-making asset... we never used to privatise anything which would lead to creating a monopoly. We were against monopolistic practices", NDTV reported.
BJP Hits Back, Calls Congress a 'Non Performing Asset'
Reacting to the Congress, Union Minister for Women and Child Development Smriti Irani said, "In 70 years of Independence, the district the MP led (Amethi) did not even get a district hospital."
She added, "Their problem is that 6 lakh crore rupees will come from this disinvestment. That's why they are having trouble", NDTV reported.
Irani questioned Gandhi's statements saying, "What would you say about the airports being privatised during their tenure? Were they selling the country at that time?"
Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Leader and Minister of Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Tuesday stated that the opposition party is a "non-performing asset which has no value," PTI reported.
He added that the Congress is a "depressed defaulter dynasty" and a "champion of confusion and contradiction."
"While Modi government and BJP are engaged in construction of the country, the Congress is involved in the destruction of the country. All that can be said on the condition of the Congress is good luck and get well soon."Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Union Minister
A 'Dangerous Bid'
However, the Trinamool Congress also strongly criticised the union government, stating that the National Monetisation Pipeline plan is a "dangerous bid by the bankrupt Narendra Modi government," IANS reported.
TMC Deputy leader of Rajya Sabha, Sukhendu Sekhar Roy in a press meet on 24 August said, "NMP is an unprecedented anti-people move which did not figure in the BJP election manifesto for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls."
Roy also stated that there had been no discussion in Parliament about the National Monetisation Policy.
"Sinister Plan by NDA"
RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav also joined the chorus against the National Monetisation Policy and said that it is a sinister plan by the NDA to curtail government jobs. He stated that it is against the interests of people and the country, news agency ANI reported.
"We will fight against this attempt of turning our democratic India into an East India Company conglomerate. Government should explain how the selling of assets to a select few corporates will help its people and the economy."Tejashwi Yadav, RJD Leader
Centre Officially Announced 'Sale' of India
The Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Tuesday also alleged that the union government had "officially announced the sale of India" with its decision to monetise the assets across the industrial sectors, news agency PTI reported.
CPI(M) stated that the National Monetisation Pipeline plan announced by the BJP is a loot of nation's infrastructure and therefore an outright plunder of people's wealth. The party further alleged that the government was "selling family silver to meet the daily expenditure of the country and it makes neither economic nor common sense."
"Selling assets for a song when the markets are low benefits only crony corporates and promotes crony capitalism. The politburo of the CPI(M) calls upon the people of India to protest against and resist this loot of our national assets," the party said, according to PTI.
(With inputs from PTI, IANS and ANI.)
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