'Those who sold off country's assets levelling false allegations'
New Delhi, Aug 25 (IANS) Lashing out at Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and P. Chidambaram, senior BJP leader and Union Minister Smriti Irani on Tuesday said those who sold off the assets of the country and committed massive corruption are now levelling baseless and false allegations against the Central government.
In a statement, Irani criticised Gandhi and Chidambaram for holding fake and highly misleading press conferences on the issue of National Monetisation Pipeline.
"When there was the Congress party's government in Maharashtra they had done Rs 8,000 crore monetisation in the Mumbai-Pune Expressway project. So, is Rahul Gandhi saying that the Congress government in Maharashtra sold off the Mumbai - Pune Expressway to the private sector?" Irani questioned.
"Similarly in 2008, one RFP was floated for the New Delhi Railway Station when the Congress party government was in power at the Centre. Is Rahul Gandhi saying that the government in which the head of the government was his mother Sonia Gandhi was that government trying to sell off the country and its assets?"
"Again, in 2006, the privatisation drive of airports was started by the Congress led Union government which was headed by Sonia Gandhi, so is Rahul Gandhi implying that the Congress government sold off roads, railways and airports of the country," Irani said.
The senior BJP leader further stated: "The manner in which Rahul Gandhi has commented has once again reflected his political hypocrisy and bankruptcy. It again proves that he had shamelessly tried to target the Central Government which has brought the entire monetization process in a transparent manner and fill coffers of the country and saved the country from the 'thieves ' of the Congress party."
She highlighted that the Narendra Modi government has started this process for the development and progress of the country and to save the country from the "corrupt Congress".
"The National Monetisation Pipeline announced by the Union Finance Minister yesterday was very clearly stated that the government will continue to hold the ownership of all its assets. Apart from keeping the ownership rights of all the assets in the entire monetization plan, the government has also decided to ask the state governments to appoint its nodal officers for the entire monetisation process," she said.
"Does Rahul Gandhi believe that all the Congress governments in the states which are undertaking the monetisation drives are also selling off their states and its assets to the private parties?"
"Some people are thinking and spreading canards that the government will sell off these properties, but it is a big lie. The government will continue to hold the ownership of all these properties. The government will give on lease only those properties which are underutilized assets. The ownership of these properties will continue to remain with the government and the private sector partners will have to compulsorily return it to the government after a fixed time period," she said.
The Union Minister pointed out that the National Monetization Pipeline talks about the brownfield assets which need to be monetized in a lucrative and judicious manner.
"The money raised from the entire monetisation plan will be spent in massive infrastructure development that will further boost growth and development of the country," she added.