Senior CPI leader D Raja on Sunday attacked the Modi government, saying it was “de-nationalising public sector banks” in the name of merger.
The government on Friday unveiled a mega plan to merge 10 public sector banks into four with a view to create fewer and stronger global-sized lenders with robust balance sheets that can be used to boost credit and spur growth.
“In the name of merger, what the (Narendra) Modi government is trying to do is to de-nationalise public sector banks. The government claims that the fundamentals of the economy are strong. In fact, the Modi government is destroying, breaking the fundamentals of the economy,” the CPI general secretary said.
The economy is in shambles and in a bad shape.The Modi government doesn’t want to address questions of unemployment, price rise or agrarian distress, Raja alleged at a press conference here after a two-day state-level party meet.
He also spoke on abrogation of certain provisions of Article 370 that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir, the publication of the updated final National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam and RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s recent call for a debate on reservation.
Speaking on the merger of the banks, Raja alleged: “The primary objective was to ensure capital for corporate houses and that the lending policy was in favour of corporate houses”.
“Nowhere in the world big banks have provided stability to the economy. Big banks have collapsed even in the US. During the 2008 global meltdown, India could withstand the crisis, as India had strong public sector banks and public insurance companies,” he said.
On the current state of the economy, Raja said, “The economy is in shambles. There is a big crisis in industry, agrarian distress and demonetisation has brought disastrous consequences for the small sector. As planned by Modi, we do not see two crore jobs. There is highest rate of unemployment, which is growing at a galloping speed.”
“However, the government only talks about creators of wealth, and the Union finance minister announced a slew of measures. The government also assured foreign investors to come and invest in India. It also seems that the government is willing to sell national assets,” he said.
On the NRC, which validates bona fide Indian citizens of Assam, Raja said, “The NRC has raised several questions, and claims made by the BJP-RSS have fallen flat. The BJP in the name of foreigners tried to politicise the issue, and claimed that there were over 40 lakh foreigners.”
Over 19 lakh people have been excluded in the final list of the NRC.
On RSS chief Bhagwat’s call for a debate on reservation, Raja said, “This means that he has a sinister design to abolish reservation policy. It is a part of the RSS agenda, which is opposed to the idea of social justice. The RSS is against schedule castes, tribals, backwards castes.”
“The country needs reservation in the private sector, as there is no such policy in the private sector,” the CPI leader said.
When asked to comment on the situation prevailing in J-K, Raja said, “The situation is not normal. While we (leaders of different political parties) were returning from Srinagar, some people told us that situation is tense. There is no phone or internet facilities. Security forces use satellite phones, but not the common citizens.”
He also termed the abrogation of certain provision of Article 370 as “unconstitutional”, “undemocratic” and “against federal principles of the Constitution”.
Raja was part of the 11-member delegation of opposition parties from Delhi which wanted to visit the Valley to take stock of the situation there after the revoking of the Jammu and Kashmir’s special status.However, the leaders were not allowed to leave the Srinagar airport by the administration on Saturday.
“Schools and colleges are open but students are not going. Parents are not ready to send their children to schools. People are not able to go to hospital,” he added.
The senior CPI leader said the “way forward” is that arrested leaders be released, and parties and people be engaged.”Without the people, the Centre cannot take such a decision, and it will further alienate the people of Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.
When asked about how many seats the party will fight in the upcoming bypolls, CPI leader Girish Tiwari said the party will contest on around 7-8 seats including Hamirpur.