BPCL sale an outright theft, says Rahul

Prime Minister Narendra Modi insists he is a nationalist after readying plans to sell BPCL which is valued at over ₹8 lakh crore for ₹60,000 crore, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said here on Saturday.

“This is not privatisation but outright theft. Mr. Modi is helping his ‘masters’ and ‘owners’ by selling public sector units for a pittance to private entities. His ‘masters’ have hired him to do a job provided he does a job for them. Without them, he is only a balloon. This is an Ambani-Adani government, not a Modi [-led] government. They will throw him out the moment he fails to hand over to them profit-making PSUs like BPCL,” Mr. Gandhi said.

He was addressing employees and members of the public in front of BPCL, Ambalamugal, where workers have been on the warpath for the past 45 days protesting against the move to sell the company which registered ₹8,000-crore profit in the last fiscal.

Referring to the British colonising India, he said most people had the notion that the British invaded India. “It is true they came here, but India was sold by then rulers. The country was thus ‘sold from the inside’ by the kings who ruled different kingdoms. This is happening even now, only that the ‘maharajas’ have been replaced by Mr. Modi,” he alleged.

Mr. Gandhi said demonetisation and GST were introduced deliberately to “kill” small and unorganised sectors and farmers and thus clear the way for corporates. The 9% growth recorded during the UPA rule has now fallen to 4% under the new method of assessing GDP. The growth rate is only 2.5 % if it were to be measured using the hitherto-adopted method, he added.

Lashing out at “unscrupulous” corporate entities, Mr. Gandhi said the country was in the hands of 15 top corporates, who owed ₹3.5 lakh crore (to banks and financial institutions) by way of non-performing assets. “Thus, money from the pockets of the ordinary masses is being used to help Mr. Modi’s ‘friends’. An example is airports and major ports which are being handed over to Adani Group, despite it having no experience in the field. The message is that the Modi government will destroy the future of people who work with utmost honesty,” Mr. Gandhi observed.

“Even the country’s armed forces will be ineffective if there is no energy security. Other public sector units too are at risk of privatisation, causing systematic destruction of India’s backbone. But let me assure you that we will not let this happen. There will be huge lot of people like you who will defend the country’s strategic assets like BPCL,” he said.

The agitation has gained momentum in the past few days, with the slogan ‘Save BPCL, Save India’.

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Printable version | Dec 2, 2021 5:18:56 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/bpcl-sale-an-outright-theft-says-rahul/article30234048.ece

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