The Congress on Friday said the BJP government wants to hand over the control of Indian insurance firms to foreign players and accused it of misleading the people of the country on the Insurance Bill.
Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge said after the East India Company came to the country and ruled it for over 150 years, the BJP now wants to promote "west India companies" of Gujarat and is framing laws to benefit them.
He said the Congress and other opposition parties want the bill to be sent to a select committee of the House for further scrutiny as it has several shortcomings.
However, the government did not listen to the opposition leaders and pushed through the legislation, Mr Kharge said.
"The Insurance Bill has a number of shortcomings and the BJP is trying to mislead inside the House," he said.
"As per the statement of objects of the Insurance (Amendment) Bill, it provides for raising the investment limit of foreign insurance companies in an Indian insurance company from the existing 49 per cent to 74 per cent and allows foreign ownership and control with safeguards," the Congress leader said.
"The FDI coming in will allow foreign companies to own and control Indian insurance companies. If foreigners control insurance companies, it will be like the East India Company, when it invested, ruled and controlled the entire country for 150 years. Similarly, west India companies of Gujarat are there and are keen on privatisation and (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi brings such laws to help them," he alleged.
Mr Kharge said this is happening not just in one sector but in rail, roads, banks, hotels etc. and the reservation for the Scheduled Caste (SC), Scheduled Tribe (ST) and Other Backward Class (OBC) communities is being ended.
"This is a ploy to end the reservation for them, who used to get assured jobs in such public sector undertakings," he alleged.
Besides Congress leaders, those from other opposition parties such as Anil Desai of the Shiv Sena, Jharna Das Baidya of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), Sukhram Singh Yadav and Vishambhar Prasad Nishad of the Samajwadi Party (SP), TKS Elangovan of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), Binoy Viswam of the Communist Party of India (CPI), Manoj Kumar Jha of the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and Fauzia Khan of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) were also present.