Opposition slams Centre’s bid to privatise passenger trains

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on July 02, 2020 Published on July 02, 2020

Abhishek Manu Singhvi

Slamming the Centre’s decision to privatise operation of certain passenger trains, the Opposition said such a move is against the basic of a self-reliant India. The Opposition warned serious repercussions for the privatisation of Railways.

The Congress wondered why the Centre decided to do line privatisation for Railways in the middle of Covid-19. Party leader Rahul Gandhi said Railways is the lifeline for the poor and the Centre is taking it away from them. “The Centre can take away whatever they want. But they must remember that people will give them a strong reply,” Gandhi said in Twitter.

Later, talking to reporters, Congress spokesman and MP Abhishek Manu Singhvi said Railways is the world’s seventh largest employer on any activity. “Now, with this scale, are you decimating and destroying value for India, for the nation, for India’s ‘shaan, baan, aan’ by minimising value or it is your object to be at least mediumising, it is not maximising. Does common sense tell everybody that the best time to get to the bids for individual lines also, is bang in the middle of corona? Where is the capacity? Where is the wherewithal, where is the spirit, where is the animal spirit to do investments like this at good prices?,’ Singhvi asked.

He said the Centre is squandering State largesse and throwing away valuable Indian resources. “Why this mad rushing hurry? Could you not have waited to at least convene Parliament? You should pass a parliamentary law. We could have had virtual Parliament. Many countries are having. You don’t even have virtual Parliamentary Committee meetings. If you cannot pass a law, at least you can pass a resolution of Parliament. If you don’t want to call it resolution at least you could have a discussion in Parliament,” he said.

The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) said such a step is happening for the first time in independent India. “The private sector utilising the network established over centuries with all the required infrastructure will run passenger trains making super profits. The Indian Railways remains as the most important network uniting our country and providing public transportation for crores of our people. The livelihood of crores of our people are dependent on the railways. Such privatisation undermines the basis of India’s self-reliant economy,” it said.

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Published on July 02, 2020
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