Congress opposed only to privatising public sector institutions: Chidambaram

Clarifying that the Congress was opposed only to privatising public sector institutions, senior leader P. Chidambaram on Monday said that the BJP Government at the Centre may give licences to “rich friends” to commence private banks, insurance companies and ports.

Speaking at a booth committee meeting of Congress workers in Manamadurai, he said that there were private sector, multi national and public sector institutions in the country in the banks, insurance and among others.

“We are not against this arrangement. Let the people choose from the facilities available,” he said. However, the BJP’s plan to hand over prime institutions to rich friends could not be accepted. Banks, which were over 100-years-old and had branches across the country, could not be given on a platter to the friends of BJP, Mr. Chidambaram said.

Though Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman was a learned person, he charged that she only read out the budget written by the friends of BJP. “This is set to raise the inflation.”

Attacking Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Mr. Chidambaram said that the BJP was determined to impose Hindi in Tamil heartland. What happened to the DMK MP Kanimozhi at the airport a few months ago was just the tip of an iceberg [A CISF personnel apparently asked her if she was an Indian for not knowing Hindi]. The Home Minister had written a letter in Hindi to Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, expressing his condolence, when the CM’s mother passed away. “Can’t he write in English…We don’t expect him to write in Tamil. It showed the arrogance of the BJP leader,” he charged.

The southern states were the only pockets, which could halt the imposition of Hindi.

Hailing the richness of Tamil and explaining the features of the artefacts from Keeladi in Sivaganga district, he said that the people of Tamil Nadu were ready to chase away the BJP and its ally, the AIADMK. The party workers, he said, should ensure that the Congress combine emerged victorious in Tamil Nadu and urged them to work round-the-clock for the ensuing Assembly elections.

The Congress leader also blamed the BJP for sowing the seeds of bias among the people from different castes and communities that many towns in North India were facing problems. There were rifts between Hindus and Muslims; that a Hindu does not buy commodities from a shop owned by a Muslim. The people of southern states should stop such designs of the BJP and show them the doors in the general elections with the message that India cannot be divided and the Congress will unitedly fight with the people’s support in throwing the BJP out of power.

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