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Political situation keeps evolving: Congress' Mukul Wasnik on breaking ties with AIUDF in Assam


Guwahati, Sep 1: Backing Assam Congress' decision to snap ties with AIUDF and BPF, the party's National General Secretary Mukul Wasnik on Wednesday said political situations keep evolving and has changed since the Assembly polls were held earlier this year.

Addressing a press conference here, he said state Congress leaders will leave for Delhi on Thursday and submit a detailed report on the current political scenario of Assam to the party's national leadership.

"I believe the APCC took the decision after a proper discussion on the issue. They have the full right (to do so) and decide whom to go with. There is no objection to that," he said when asked about the Assam Pradesh Congress Committee's decision to break alliance with AIUDF.

The Congress had joined hands with All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) and other opposition parties before the Assembly polls earlier this year because the situation at that time had demanded that all anti-BJP parties should come together, Wasnik said.

"The political situation keeps evolving from time to time. It is never stagnant. The only thing that remains (constant) is the fundamental principles of the Indian National Congress," Wasnik said.

The Core Committee of APCC has also decided to break its association with the Bodoland People's Front (BPF), while another ally CPI(M) said it only had a seat-sharing arrangement with the Congress but was not a part of the alliance. The Congress, which was in power for 15 years in Assam since 2001, had formed a 'Grand Alliance' with AIUDF, BPF, CPI(M), CPI, CPI(ML), Anchalik Gana Morcha (AGM), RJD, Adivasi National Party (ANP) and Jimochayan (Deori) Peoples Party (JPP) to fight against the BJP-led NDA in the Assembly election this year.

When asked if the 'Grand Alliance' still exists, Wasnik did not give a straight answer and said the state leadership will go to Delhi and submit a report to the national leaders on political developments in Assam. Launching a scathing attack on the BJP-led central government over the ambitious National Monetisation Pipeline (NMP), the senior Congress leader claimed Prime Minister Narendra Modi is trying to project himself as an economist, but will "fail" as he did in the case of demonetisation.

"The 'For Sale' of India's hard-earned assets is the single biggest anti-national act. The properties of the nation created 67 years post-Independence are being sold. And we know that only a few of Modi's friends will grab it," Wasnik said.

The government is targeting Rs 6 lakh crore from the listed assets, but the actual value would be more than Rs 60 lakh crore, he claimed.

"There was no prior estimate to the assets. The government did not take anyone in confidence. There was no discussion on this in Parliament. Total secrecy was maintained," Wasnik said.

The Congress is not against privatisation, but the UPA had envisaged disinvestment only in case of chronically loss making PSUs and firms with minimal or insignificant market share, he added.

"The Congress specifically envisaged that there would be no disinvestment in the strategic and security sectors and the areas where there is danger of private sector monopoly or duopoly. The core sectors are essential to growth of the nation," Wasnik asserted. The NMP will have two major consequences -- income from the public assets will not be available for the long lease period of 30-years and opportunities for India's poor, SC, ST, OBC will diminish as job reservation norms followed by PSUs will be ended once a state-run firm is privatised, he alleged.

Wasnik said the Congress does not accept the NMP and will oppose it on every forum.

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