New Delhi, April 1
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said “concerted efforts” were underway from people inside the country as well as outside to malign his image.
Poor, middle class are my shield
India’s poor, middle class, tribals, Dalits and backwards, all have become my protective shield. PM Modi
Speaking at Bhopal’s Rani Kamlapati railway station after flagging off the Vande Bharat Express from there, PM Modi said after he became the Prime Minister in 2014, there were people who had publicly announced that they would destroy him. “To achieve this objective, they gave “supari” (contract) to many others. They have accomplices inside the country. They also have people in foreign countries to help them,” he said.
While the Prime Minister did not spell out who were the foreign collaborators of his Indian adversaries, the outburst is believed to be over the “concern” expressed first by the US and then Germany about the recent disqualification of Opposition leader Rahul Gandhi from Parliament. “India’s poor, middle class, tribals, Dalits and backward classes, all have become my protective shield,” the Prime Minister said, asserting that his adversaries would not be able to get the better of him.
Taking a dig at the Congress, PM Modi said when he was told that the inauguration ceremony of Bhopal-New Delhi Vande Bharat Express would be on April 1, he feared that this would prompt the Opposition party to launch a propaganda saying this was going to be an “April Fools’ Day joke from Modi”. “But as you can see, the train took off on April 1 only. This is a symbol of our skill, capability and our confidence,” he said. The PM alleged that previous governments were so busy with appeasement (“tushtikaran”) for vote bank politics that they did not get time for the welfare of people at large (“santushtikaran”). “The previous governments focused on only one family as the country’s first family and left the poor and middle-class on their fate. The Indian Railways is an example of this. It was not modernised with the requirement of time. They sacrificed the development of railways for narrow political interests,” he said.
The Prime Minister said the government was striving to make Indian Railways the best rail network in the world and added that number of train accidents had gone down drastically in the country after 2014. He said there was no unmanned level crossing any more in the entire broad gauge rail network of the country.
He also noted the popularity of Vande Bharat Express among the youth. Parliamentarians were also flooding him with requests for introduction of Vande Bharat Express from areas where they were having constituents, he said.
The 11th Vande Bharat train flagged off today will cover a distance of 708 km between Bhopal and Delhi in around seven hours and 45 minutes. Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw were among the dignitaries who were present during the flagging-off ceremony.
‘Cong means corruption’ series from today: BJP
The BJP is set to up the ante on the issue of graft. The party on Saturday released a video on Twitter announcing unveiling of a series of video files under the title ‘Congress means corruption’ from Sunday. The PM had earlier this week accused the Opposition of having launched a ‘bhrashtachaari bachao andolan’.
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