Ranchi: Senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh on Thursday said the Centre's move to privatise the coal sector would bring back the "bitter memories" of "exploitation" of labour force before it was nationalised by former prime minister Indira Gandhi.
"Modi says 'Make in India', but wants to hand over the coal sector in the hands of the corporate," the former Madhya Pradesh chief minister said.
"To stop exploitation of lakhs of labourers by the private sector, Indiraji nationalised the coal industry, benefiting the poor and the tribals. Now the Centre's effort to privatise it would again lead to the same exploitation," Singh said.
Stating that the previous Manmohan Singh regime's coal policy had been to benefit the end users, Singh claimed that handing over the sector to corporates would be burdensome to consumers as well.
"Jharkhand is a coal-rich state and Congress wants the people of the state to use it for their development," the Congress leader said.
Singh said the Modi government was out to "change" and amend a series of Acts that the previous government enacted.
"In its 10 years of rule, the UPA government had given the people RTI, Food Security Act, Right to Education, land Act and MGNREGA, which the Modi government wants to change," he said.