President Sharad Yadav on Saturday criticised the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led NDA government for its move to invite foreign investment in a host of key sectors saying there was no difference between this and the previous Congress-led UPA government.
He accused the Narendra Modi Government of "selling dreams" to the people through FDI in sectors like defence, Railways and insurance, an agenda unsuccessfully pushed by the UPA regime.
"The NDA Government is selling dreams through FDI in important sectors like defence, Railways and insurance, which the Congress-led UPA government could not do on its own," Yadav told reporters here.
The Government on Wednesday last approved raising the FDI limit in the defence sector to 49% and opened up the Railway infrastructure segment for foreign direct investment (FDI).
"The UPA Government could not push forward the FDI agenda since it lacked clear majority in Parliament. But the NDA has absolute majority and therefore determined to go ahead with the FDI... former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and his cabinet colleague Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram were keen for FDI in these sectors, but failed in their attempts," said Yadav, whose party was once part of the BJP-led alliance.
Criticising the focus on FDI route, the former Union Minister said, "Mahatma Gandhi fought against the British rule which was preceded by the arrival of the East India Company. But now after 68 years of independence, the same foreign investment is being welcomed."
Yadav said there was hardly any difference between the erstwhile UPA Government and the incumbent NDA on the issue of FDI.
The JD(U) leader noted that in the aviation sector, 62 per cent of the total revenue of Airports Authority of India was generated from Mumbai and Delhi airports. "But now both the airports have been handed over to the private sector," the former Civil Aviation Minister said.
Yadav was here to address a function organised to commemorate the death anniversary of noted Hindi journalist Rajendra Mathur. The event was organised by Maharashtra Rashtrabhasha Sabha and a leading Hindi daily.