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'India For Sale', says Rahul Gandhi Slamming Modi Gov’t Pipeline and Infrastructure Monetisation

© AFP 2023 / DIPTENDU DUTTAIndia's Congress party leader Rahul Gandhi gestures as he addresses a rally during an election campaign at Shibmandir on the outskirts of Siliguri on April 14, 2021
India's Congress party leader Rahul Gandhi gestures as he addresses a rally during an election campaign at Shibmandir on the outskirts of Siliguri on April 14, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 25.08.2021
The National Monetisation Pipeline (NMP) project was launched by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led federal government on Monday to raise $81 billion (INR 6 trillion) by selling 25 international and domestic airports, 15 railway stations, and 160 coal mining projects.
Rahul Gandhi, a key member of India’s main opposition party Congress, on Wednesday, slammed the Bharatiya Janata Party-led federal government for its ambitious asset monetisation plan while accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi of “selling the crown jewels of the country”.
In a tweet in Hindi, he said: “First the faith was sold and now… #IndiaOnSale”.
Gandhi stated that the BJP government had been claiming that no development had occurred in India for 70 years, but now all assets created in these years were being sold, apparently referring to the country's past when Congress was the ruling party.
Accusing the Modi government of mishandling the economy, the former Congress chief said: “The government clearly does not know what to do. They have basically destroyed what the UPA [Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government] built and now, as a last resort, they are selling everything that we had helped create."
"So, to me, this is a huge tragedy, and it is something that every patriotic person, a nationalistic person should oppose,” Gandhi added. 
He also alleged that Modi “is not working for the people of India” but for “two or three monopolists”.
“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,” Gandhi stated.
Criticising the government’s plan, he said that the Congress party is not against privatisation, but there should be a strategy.
“The pillars of our strategy were that no strategic assets which included defence, railways, will be sold. 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 a risk of a monopolist,” the Congress leader said. 
In a Tuesday tweet, Gandhi described the National Monetisation Pipeline as the “National Friendship Scheme” in sectors such as rail, road, airport, power, mines, petrol and diesel, stadiums, and warehouses.
Former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram termed the federal government's move as a “grand bargain sale and a grand closing-down sale”.
“This exercise has been designed without any ex-ante criteria. The government should have spelt out what its criteria were and what its goals were. You don’t embark upon such a big exercise without first setting out the criteria and what your goals are. You don’t embark upon such an exercise without consultations with stakeholders,” Chidambaram stated.
Another opposition party, Trinamool Congress, also condemned the Modi government's decision.
The TMC called it a “dangerous bid” by a “bankrupt” Modi government to raise money by gradually handing over key sectors to corporates and called it an anti-people move.
The Communist Party of India [Marxist] Politburo said: “Selling family silver to meet daily expenditure makes neither economic nor common sense. Selling assets for a song when the markets are low benefits only crony corporates and promotes crony capitalism.”
Social media is currently flooded with angry reactions over the NMP.
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