Cong accuses Centre of promoting pvt telcos at cost of PSUs, asks if electoral bonds involved

New Delhi, Dec 1 (PTI) Congress on Sunday accused the BJP-led government of giving 'special treatment' to private players in the telecom sector at the cost of public sector entities and asked the prime minister if the ruling party received benefits in terms of electoral bonds from them.

Addressing media persons, Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera alleged public sector companies like BSNL and MTNL, which were making profits under the previous UPA 1 and 2 governments, were now running at losses while the government is promoting and giving relief to private sector companies.

'Why are you meting out step-motherly treatment to public sector companies and this special treatment to private sector undertakings. I want to ask Modi ji if his party received benefits in terms of electoral bonds from the latter,' Khera said.

His remarks come in the backdrop of telecom companies Vodafone-Idea and Bharti Airtel announcing on Sunday increases in rates of their mobile phone network services.

Khera claimed that BSNL and MTNL were making profits of over Rs 7,000 crore under UPA 1 and 2 but were running losses of over Rs 11,000 crore for the past five years.

'You (govt) deliberately allowed them (public sector companies) to bleed to death,' Khera alleged.

'Look at the efforts to sell BPCL, Container Corporation of India, Shipping Corporation of India. They also took money from the capital reserves of the RBI and they are out to sell Maharatna companies of India. So the strategy towards public sector of this government is that if there is a profit-making company, try and reduce its profit, if you fail in that case sell it,' he alleged.

Questioning the intention of the government, the Congress spokesperson said, 'There has to be a quid pro quo. Why would a government go out of its way to destroy the profit-making public sector companies and try maximizing the profits of private sectors companies? At the end of the day we end up paying for these stunts.' On a question about Congress leader Janardan Dwivedi sharing dais with RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat at the 'Gita Mahotsav', Khera said if there is an event celebrating Bhagwad Gita, people from different ideologies have every right to attend such functions.

'I don't see anything wrong in that. Does the Bhagwad Gita belong only to Mohan Bhagwat and his organisation? We breathe the same air as Mohan Bhagwat breathes, does that mean we share the views of Mohan Bhagwat,' he said. PTI PLB PLB RDM RDM