Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Anantkumar Hegde on August 11 said that all employees of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) were traitors and anti-nationals who were unwilling to work towards reviving the state-owned telecom firm from its troubled state.
The BJP MP, who is no stranger to controversies, triggered a massive row with his statements.
"BSNL has a system filled with traitors. I am using accurate words to describe them. The government has given money, people require services and there is infrastructure. Yet, they don't work. PM talks of Digital India, has provided funds and technology. Yet, they are not willing to work," the BJP MP said.
The MP, at an event at Kumta area of Uttara Karnataka, said that over 88,000 employees would soon be fired from the firm, as the government is looking at privatising it. He said that BSNL was a disgrace to the entire country and that his government "will finish it".
"In the coming days we will be removing all 88,000 employees and there could be more such developments," he said. "It would be like a major surgery. We have made up our mind to privatise BSNL and bring it back to order."
Congress leaders lashed out at Hegde's remarks, saying that his comments only showed his own worth. The party said that the Centre is planning to privatise everything and this showed its inability to govern.