Kolkata, March 7: CPI-M General Secretary Sitaram Yechury on Tuesday alleged that the traits of crony capitalism have increased manifold in the country during the tenure of Narendra Modi government at the Centre, as compared to the previous Congress regime.
Citing various examples of the Centre's policy reforms, he claimed that such policy changes were designed to favour a certain section of capitalists and businessmen in the country while completely overlooking the interest of the masses.
"Aspects of crony capitalism were present during the time of the previous central government run by Congress, but in four years of Modi government, the traits of such practices have multiplied manifold," Yechury said while speaking at a seminar here on "Crony capitalism and its dangers to the nation".
"After the Modi government's ascendancy, it has applied the traits of crony capitalism in a very dangerous way. On one hand the banks are getting looted in the name of non-performing assets (NPA) and non-repayment of hefty loan amounts, while on the either hand, the government has revoked loan worth nearly two to three lakh crore rupees during its tenure," he alleged.
Yechury alleged that while the government could not revoke the loans of farmers to save them from committing suicide citing lack of fund issues, it revoked loans taken by the capitalists worth crores of rupees.
"The government kept mum about the names of the capitalists whose loans were revoked. But it won't be a secret for long. A loan defaulter like Nirav Modi was seen with the Prime Minister in Davos in spite of FIR being filed against him. How was he allowed? It cannot be that he was spared by the customs due to the similarity of his surname with the Prime Minister," the Left leader said.
He also questioned why the names of the industrialists, who travelled with the Prime Minister during his foreign trips, were still kept a secret, and accused Modi of working as the middleman in many deals signed between foreign companies and some Indian industrialists close to him.
"They often proudly say that unlike the previous government, this government does not have any middleman. I say there is no middleman because the Prime Minister himself works as the middleman. The industrialists sign significant deals with the foreign companies in presence of the Prime Minister. They directly sign those contracts and earn crores of rupees as profit," Yechury claimed.
Stating that a loot was going on in the country, he criticised the electoral bonds introduced by the government, saying it would open up a huge scope for people to open fictitious companies and turn their black money into white.
He also pitched for introducing a corporate fund for democracy instead, where the donation would go to a state-managed or Election Commission-managed fund, which would in turn be utilised through a system of state financing of elections.