Modi remarks about Ashok Gehlot: ‘Despite political crisis, he attended programme’

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NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who flagged off Rajasthan’s first Vande Bharat Express on Wednesday, said that Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot attended the programme despite a political crisis in the state.

Prime Minister Modi on Wednesday flagged off Ajmer-Delhi Cantt Vande Bharat Express, the world’s first semi-high-speed passenger train on high-rise overhead electric (OHE) territory via video conferencing on Wednesday.

At the flagging-off event which he joined via video conferencing, Prime Minister said,” I thank Gehlotji that despite facing the political crisis he took out time to attend this railway programme. Gehlot ji you have two laddus in your hand. The Railway Minister and Railway Board chairman are from Rajasthan. Thank you for your faith in me that I will be able to complete the work that has not been done since independence.”

Notably, Congress leader Sachin Pilot on Tuesday demanded an investigation from Rajasthan government in cases of alleged corruption related to the previous Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in the state.

Pilot made these remarks as he ended his day-long fast on Tuesday calling for action by the incumbent Ashok Gehlot government against alleged corruption during the previous BJP rule under former chief minister Vasundhara Raje.

PM Modi further said that post-Independence, political interests always dominated the modernization of Railways.

“Unfortunately, selfish and mean politics had always overshadowed the modernisation of the Railways. The large-scale corruption did neither let the development happen in Railways nor did it let even the Railways’ selection process be transparent,” he said.

Only after 2014, PM Modi said that the revolutionary transformation started taking place

“Who would become the railway minister was decided by looking at the political interest. It was the political interest that such trains were announced which never actually ran. The situation was such that after snatching the land of the poor, they were given a job in the railways. Railway safety…cleanliness everything was ignored. Changes in all these arrangements started coming after the year 2014,” stated the Prime Minister.

Prime Minister’s remarks came against the backdrop of central agencies probing the land-for-jobs case involving Rashtriya Janata Dal chief and former Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav and his family members.

He said Vande Bharat Express enriches the spirit of ‘India First, Always First’.

The prime minister said the Vande Bharat train has today become synonymous with development, modernity, self-reliance and stability. “Today’s journey of Vande Bharat will lead us to the journey of developed India tomorrow,” he said.

Ever since Vande Bharat started, he said, about 60 lakh people have travelled in these trains. The biggest feature of high-speed Vande Bharat is that it saves people time. From fast speed to beautiful design, Vande Bharat train is endowed with many features, he said.

Prime Minister said the central government is also working on about 1,400 km of roads in the border areas of Rajasthan. Along with road, the central government is also giving top priority to rail connectivity in Rajasthan.

Prime Minister said Vande Bharat Express will immensely benefit the tourism industry of Rajasthan.

“I am fortunate to have flagged off the 6th Vande Bharat Express in the last two months,” he said.

Travelling to Jaipur-Delhi, the PM said will now be easier with the Vande Bharat Express. This train will also help a lot to the tourism industry of Rajasthan.

The inaugural train will run between Jaipur and Delhi Cantt railway stations.

The regular service of this Vande Bharat Express will start from Thursday, April 13 and will operate between Ajmer and Delhi Cantt., with stops at Jaipur, Alwar and Gurgaon.

Notably, Ajmer-Delhi Cantt Vande Bharat Express is Rajasthan’s first Vande Bharat Express train.

Vande Bharat Express is an indigenously manufactured, semi-high speed and self-propelled train set. The train is equipped with state-of-the-art passenger amenities, providing passengers with a faster, more comfortable and more convenient travel experience. (ANI)

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