Kolkata: A couple of days after Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman launched the National Monetisation pipeline (NMP), listing out the government’s infrastructure assets to be sold over the next four years, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday came down heavily on the Narendra Modi-led Central government, alleging that it is a ploy to sell government assets and create a reserve funds for fighting elections.
“I strongly condemn this. Those who cannot do anything are selling railway stations, ports, PSUs, insurance firms. The Centre is trying to sell all these to create a reserve fund for fighting polls, as they only want to be in power. I do not support this. First let them save the country and then they should come to Bengal,” Banerjee said at a press conference at the state secretariat Nabanna on Wednesday.
Alleging that the BJP at the Centre is planning to sell everything, including road and railway assets, airports etc., the Chief Minister said, “We are shocked. I hope that the entire country will rise in protest against this. They want to sell everything in the country. They are not Modi’s assets. Modi cannot sell the country’s assets as they are public properties. This is not BJP’s party affair; it is the country’s affair. The BJP should be ashamed. No one has given them the right to sell our nation’s assets.”
Sitharaman had on Monday announced a Rs 6 lakh crore National Monetisation Pipeline (NMP) that will look to unlock value in infrastructure assets across sectors, ranging from power to roads and railways.
Taking a dig at the recent controversy over dividing Bengal, the Chief Minister said, “It is not unusual that the party which is selling the country’s assets will also attempt to divide Bengal. But we will not be defeated so easily. The BJP will not be able to divide Bengal. It is not that easy.”
The CM also said that the parliamentary committee or standing committee can visit the state and there is no harm in that. “They can come to see what we are doing,” she said.
It is part of their protocol and touring the state is a convention, Banerjee added.
However, she said that there are reports that the Centre is silently sending their men to find out how the projects are going.
Banerjee claimed that she has heard that the Centre had sent a team for the rural projects in Midnapore and some other projects.
“They might send a team but they cannot match with our performance — we rank first in 100 days’ works. We are also first in skill development and MSME sector along with several other fields,” she added.