'Kerala gave Vizhinjam port to Adani on a platter, now accuses union govt of corporate favouratism'

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Union minister Nirmala Sitharaman | Videograb: YouTube/Sansad TV

New Delhi: Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday asked in the Rajya Sabha how the opposition can accuse the NDA government of corporate favouritism when states ruled by them were helping the corporates.

The Vizhinjam port was given to Adani Group on a platter by the UDF government. Rajasthan government gave land to corporates. After all this, "how can they question the union government when it awards projects through open tender?" she asked.

She was responding to the comments of MPs, including John Brittas, during the discussion of The Appropriation (No.5) & (No.4) Bills, 2022.

She said the government stands for “development for all and appeasement for none.”

"Congress party invited a corporate to develop the (Vizhinjam) port. When the Communists came to power, they did not take it back. You want corporates to develop the port," she said.

When Brittas asked what was wrong with it, Nirmala said the port was given on a platter to the corporate company and how can the opposition question when the union government awards projects through open tenders.

"Allegations of corporate favouritism are baits the opposition throw at us. When they do it, there is no issue. The friendly match between Congress and the Communists would go on," she said.

Brittas clarified that the LDF government wanted to build the port in the public sector. Nirmala asked why didn’t the government just do it if it was going by the rules.

Nirmala also said that the misuse of Article 356 started in 1959 with the dismissal of EMS Namboothiripad government in Kerala.

When Brittas responded that the misuse of the article still continues, the minister retorted that, “I am glad to hear that. But you (CPM) seem to be comfortable cohabiting with them (Congress) now.” She alleged that CPM and Congress are engaged in friendly competition in the state.

Union minister said Indira Gandhi misused Article 356 on 50 occasions during her 16-year-long tenure.

“Both CPM and RJD must say was it better back then,” she said.

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