‘PM selling crown jewels of country’

New Delhi, Aug 24 (PTI): Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday slammed the Centre’s move to monetise its assets across key sectors, saying the Modi dispensation is in the process of selling India’s “crown jewels” built by previous governments with public money over 70 years.
Addressing a press conference here with former Union finance minister P Chidambaram, he said the BJP has claimed that nothing happened in India for 70 years, but now all assets created in all these years are being sold.
Gandhi alleged that the Narendra Modi government’s privatisation plan was aimed at creating monopolies in key sectors which will kill jobs.
He alleged that the government was indulging in creation of monopolies in the formal sector and elimination of the informal sector.
Chidambaram said that raising funds cannot be the sole aim for selling assets built over 70 years.
The former Union minister felt that all stakeholders, including employees, worker unions, farmers, must be consulted before embarking on such large sale of assets.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday unveiled an ambitious Rs 6 lakh crore National Monetisation Pipeline (NMP) that included unlocking value by involving private companies across infrastructure sectors — from passenger trains and railway stations to airports, roads and stadiums.
As many as 25 Airports Authority of India (AAI) airports, including ones at Chennai, Bhopal, Varanasi and Vadodara, as well as 40 railway stations, 15 railway stadiums and an unidentified number of railway colonies have been identified for getting private investments.

Rahul meets Baghel, Singh Deo in bid to resolve differences in Chh’garh

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday met Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel and state Health Minister T S Singh Deo in an effort to resolve the power tussle between the two senior leaders in the state. AICC in-charge for Chhattisgarh P L Punia and AICC general secretary (organisation) K C Venugopal were also present during the meeting convened by Rahul Gandhi at his residence. Sources said the two Chhattisgarh leaders had separate meetings with the former Congress president. The meetings lasted almost three hours. Rahul Gandhi heard the two leaders patiently in his attempt to iron out differences in the state leadership, the sources said, adding that some more meetings with the senior party leadership are likely in the coming days.

Punia told reporters later that issues of development in the state were discussed during their meeting. He also denied that the leadership issue was discussed.
Singh Deo and Baghel have been at loggerheads, with the former claiming that the leadership at the time of the election victory in 2018 had proposed a rotation of the chief minister’s post after 2.5 years.
Both have said they would abide by the decision of the party high command.
“Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi are our leaders and we would abide with whatever they say,”Singh Deo told reporters before the meeting.
Baghel has also said that whatever decision the leadership takes will be followed.
While the two have met Rahul Gandhi earlier on the issue, Baghel has also met Congress chief Sonia Gandhi.
The Congress has been facing similar troubles in Punjab and Rajasthan, with senior leaders facing off on a range of issues.

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