NEW DELHI: Hours after a grand road show in the city and the inauguration of two expressways to ease the pressure of traffic and pollution, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday launched a broadside against the Congress from Baghpat in Uttar Pradesh.
Modi started his day with the inauguration of the first phase of Delhi-Meerut Expressway and then rode in an open jeep for 6 km, waving at crowds, before leaving for Baghpat to inaugurate the Eastern Peripheral Expressway.
The strategically chosen venue for Modi’s rally in Baghpat and the date of inauguration of the expressway from Kundli to Palwal in Haryana were seen as attempts to reach out to neighbouring Kairana in UP, where voters are slated to elect their Lok Sabha representative in a bypoll on Monday.
Modi tried to reassert his development credentials while attacking the Congress for “spreading lies and rumours” on issues ranging from dilution of anti-Dalit atrocities law to farmer issues. People who are used to worshipping one family can’t worship democracy, he quipped.
“On that side are the people for whom their family is the country. For me, my country is my family…In their zeal to condemn Modi, they have gone to the extent of condemning the nation,” he said.
Modi’s attack came on a day when Congress leader Sachin Pilot said his party will be the pivot of any rainbow coalition to take on the BJP in 2019 Lok Sabha polls. But the TDP was not on the same page, as Andhra minister Kalava Srinivasulu said his party will not accept Congress president Rahul Gandhi as the PM face of the united front.
Earlier in the day, Andhra Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu attacked both Modi and the Congress at a TDP convention. Calling Modi a campaign PM who had failed to deliver on his promises, he said the BJP will not win a fresh mandate. The Congress too can’t form the next government on its own, he asserted, harping on the pivotal role regional parties would play after the polls.
Decongesting the Capital
First leg of the Delhi-Meerut Expressway opened; when completed by next March it will reduce travel time between the two cities to 40 mins. Modi also dedicating the 135 km Eastern Peripheral Expressway to the nation. It was built at a cost of Rs 11,000 crore in 500 days.