Accusing Narendra Modi government of trying to sell out the nation to foreign powers by allowing FDI in various sectors, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday said any global economic downturn in future would have severe implications on the Indian economy. "My priority lies with the masses and that is why I came out of the UPA government when it allowed FDI in retail. They (BJP) are talking about my recent Singapore visit. What about foreign visits by our Prime Minister after taking office just a few months back? They are allowing FDI in every sector, including Railways and Defence," Banerjee said in an interview to a Bengali News Channel.
Asked to comment on Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley's questioning of her Singapore visit, Banerjee said, "How do I make him understand that there has to be a way out? He is talking about FDI, I am talking about PPP model. He is talking about forcible land acquisitions under the nozzle of guns, I am talking about land banks. "They believe in selling out everything, increasing the prices and fares and cutting on subsidies," she said.
Praising the initiative taken by the Indira Gandhi-led Congress regime of nationalising Indian banks, Banerjee said this initiative had saved India during the global economic downturn in 2008. "Due to Indira Gandhi's policy of bank nationalisation India survived the economic slowdown in 2008 and because India has a record of small and medium savings it survived the recent slowdown too," she said.
"But the policies that this regime are taking, India won't survive another economic slowdown in near future and it will have severe implications on Indian economy then. No one will be able to save the country then," Banerjee said. When Banerjee was asked to react to the accusations that during her tenure as Railway Minister, the Railways started incurring losses, Banerjee said, "When I was in Railways, I took austerity measures to save money. During my tenure, there has been no loss in railways,".
Banerjee added that selling out railways is not an option as its was of immense importance to national security. "Why didn't foreign countries like UK and USA didn't sell out their own Railways? Because it is of immense importance. From defence to atomic energy, the network is used everywhere".