Accusing the Centre of mishandling the country's economy, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday said the nation was at a "critical crossroad" and the Congress, as a major opposition party, has a moral duty to fight the forces that threaten the very idea of India.
"Modi Government has clearly mishandled the economy. And, what this country has built over the last 70 years, is being given away to select few friends of Modi-ji", Mr Gandhi said, joining a function organised virtually on the occasion of inauguration of the District Congress Committee office in this north Kerala district.
He said the Congress was not against privatisation but its privatisation plan had a logic.
"We didn't privatise strategic industries: for example, Railways which is the backbone of India. Congress party must oppose this fire sale of our crown jewels at every level," Mr Gandhi said, slamming the Centre's Rs 6 lakh crore National Monetisation Pipeline (NMP) that included unlocking value by involving private companies across infrastructure sectors - from passenger trains and railway stations to airports, roads and stadiums.
Attacking the Centre over rising prices of fuel, Mr Gandhi said the government has come up with a new concept of GDP, wherein a rise in GDP means a rise in prices of Gas, Diesel and Petrol.
"While international prices for crude and gas has gone down since 2014, there has been huge increase in prices in GDP in last 7 years. Rs 23 lakh crore has been earned by increasing prices of GDP in the last seven years. Where has this money gone?" he asked.
The Congress leader alleged that while farmers, labourers, small traders and informal sector, MSMEs, contract workers, salaried class and honest industrialists are being demonetised, four-five friends of Prime Minister Narendra Modi are being monetised.
"We have to fight these forces...," he said at the function attended by AICC general secretary KC Venugopal, KPCC president K Sudhakaran and Leader of opposition in the State Assembly VD Satheesan.
Senior leaders Oommen Chandy and Ramesh Chennithala also joined Mr Gandhi in the virtual function.