New Delhi: A day after accusing the government of selling and “gifting” India’s assets to its businessmen “friends” through the national monetisation plan, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi today took a swipe with a “IndiaOnSale” hashtag.
“First sold out conscience and now…,” he said in a tweet in Hindi, using the hashtag.
The Congress also used the hashtag and accused the government of exploiting India’s assets for the benefit of its “crony friends”.
“Any government must be focused on fostering and utilising the nation”s natural resources so as to benefit generations of citizens to come. All Modi government is focused on is how to exploit our precious assets for the benefit of a few crony-capitalist friends,” the party said on Twitter.
It also said that airways, waterways or roadways are national infrastructural assets that boost the entire economy.
“How justified is it to sell these assets built with crores of rupees worth of tax-payers’ money to a few business persons,” the party asked.
The Congress further said that the PM Modi government’s “distract and deflect policy” is falling apart, as it can no longer throw large numbers and fancy slogans around and expect the Indian people to be enthralled.
The NSUI, the Congress students’ wing, also attacked the government saying, “Congress took 70 years to build. BJP took 7 years to sell” and used the hashtag “IndiaOnSale”.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday launched a scathing attack on those criticising the ₹ 6 lakh crore monetisation plan, wondering if Mr Gandhi even understands what such a move entails.
She alleged that it is Congress that received “kickbacks” by selling resources such as land and mines.
She reminded that the governments headed by the Congress raised ₹ 8,000 crore by monetising the Mumbai-Pune expressway, and in 2008, it was the UPA government that floated the request for proposal to lease out New Delhi Railway Station.
Recalling an incident where Mr Gandhi tore off an ordinance he didn’t agree with, Ms Sitharaman questioned why he didn’t tear off the RFP.
“If he indeed is against monetisation, why was the RFP on the monetisation of NDLS torn to pieces by Rahul Gandhi? And if this is monetisation, did they sell off the New Delhi railway station? Is it owned by jijaji (brother in law) now? Does he understand what is monetisation?”
Rahul Gandhi had on Tuesday attacked the government’s national monetisation plan and said the BJP has claimed that nothing happened in India for 70 years, but now all assets created in all these years with public money were being sold out.
Mr Gandhi alleged that the government’s privatisation plan was aimed at creating monopolies in key sectors. This will kill jobs, eliminate the informal sector, destroy small businesses and lead to “enslaving” of people, he alleged.