New Delhi: The BJP on Tuesday cited the previous Congress government’s efforts to monetise different assets to wonder if the party was then trying to “sell” the country as it hit back at the principal opposition over its attack on the Modi dispensation on the decision to raise over Rs 6 lakh crore by monetising infrastructure across several sectors.
Union minister Smriti Irani said Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who had targeted the government earlier at a press conference, is “upset” that India will make Rs 6 lakh crore and is trying to tarnish the Centre’s image for working to fill state coffers transparently while keeping them secure from the “robbers” of the opposition party.
Noting that the government has made it clear that it will remain in ownership of all the assets proposed to be monetised, Irani cited a quote to take a swipe at Gandhi.
“This man’s politics begins with hypocrisy, is sustained through arrogance and ends with contempt,” she said, adding the Congress leader today displayed all of it.
His political hypocrisy was also on show, she alleged.
The coalition government, of which the Congress is a member, in Maharashtra had monetised the Mumbai-Pune Expressway for Rs 8,000 crore, she said, asking if Gandhi’s charge meant it had sold the asset.
The UPA government at the Centre had floated an RFP in 2008 regarding the New Delhi Railway Station and started airport privatisation in 2006.
“Is this Rahul Gandhi’s allegation that a government whose ‘mukhia’ was his mother had sold rail, road and airport,” Irani asked.
As Congress president, his mother Sonia Gandhi was seen as the political face of the government headed by Manmohan Singh.
With Gandhi accusing the Modi government of promoting a few select corporates and alleging that the country was heading towards “enslavement”, Irani shot back, saying “enslaved” are those who, under a family rule, speak of breaking the country, a reference to controversial comments on Kashmir and Pakistan by two advisors of Punjab Congress president Navjot Singh Sidhu.
Asked about Rahul Gandhi’s claim that he had warned the government of the COVID-19’s dangers too, the BJP leader and Amethi MP shot back saying there was not even a district hospital and CT scanner in the constituency he represented for 15 years.
Right from making PPE kits, the Modi government prepared the health infrastructure to deal with the crisis, she said.
BJP leader and Union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said the opposition party is a “non-performing asset” that has no value.
Speaking to reporters here, Naqvi took a swipe at the Congress, calling it a “depressed defaulter dynasty” and a “champion of confusion and contradiction”.
While the Modi government and the BJP are engaged in the “construction of the country, the Congress is involved in the “destruction of the country”, he alleged.