Rahul Gandhi, Congress Tear Into Centre Over National Monetisation Plan

New Delhi: Taking potshots at the Central government over the National Monetisation Pipeline plan, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday alleged Prime Minister Narendra Modi “is in the process of selling the crown jewels of this country” built by the previous governments with public money over 70 years.“Now the Prime Minister is in the process of selling the crown jewels of this country. I am going to read what is being sold and you can guess to which monopolist it is being sold,” he said.Gandhi said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has claimed that nothing happened in India for 70 years, but now all assets created in all these years are being sold.The Congress leader alleged Prime Minister Modi “is not working for the people of India” but for “two or three monopolists”.Addressing a press conference with former Union finance minister P. Chidambaram, he said the Congress Party is not against privatization but “there should be a strategy for privatization”.“We are not against privatization, we believe that there should be a strategy for privatization. What were the pillars of our strategy: first of all, no strategic asset will be sold. In that there is defence, railways,” Gandhi said.“We said only companies which are chronically loss making, only companies which have minimal market share and we will not sell companies where there is risk of a monopolist,” he added.The Congress leader further said the public sector can help ensure that the industry is fair, free and is not monopolized.“This entire privatization is designed to create monopolies. The whole idea behind this thing is to create monopolies for 3-4 people,” he added.Gandhi also used the occasion to reach out to the youth.“My young friends who are today searching for a job, cannot find a job. You have to understand that the reason you cannot find a job is because the entire small and medium industry has been destroyed,” Gandhi said.“This is not just a gifting of India’s assets, this is going to ensure that the young people in India will not be able to find employment in the future,” he added.READ: Modi Govt To Raise Rs 6 Lakh Crore By Selling Stakes Of Public Sector Assets Under NMPQuestioning the government’s move, Gandhi said: “I gave a warning during corona; I said to you that corona is going to be a disaster, I was ridiculed. I am saying to you again, this is going to ensure that our young people do not get jobs.”“As a youngster it is your duty and my duty to fight this and to make people understand what the Prime Minister is doing,” he added.Chidambaram on his part said “this exercise has been designed without any ex-ante criteria”.“The government should have spelt out what its criteria and goals were. You don’t embark upon such a big exercise without first setting out the criteria and what your goals are,” ANI quoted Chidambaram as saying.The Congress leaders’ outburst come as Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman earlier on Monday unveiled an ambitious Rs 6 lakh crore National Monetisation Pipeline, which will cover a wide array of sectors ranging from road and railway assets, and airports to power transmission lines and gas pipelines.

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