VARANASI: Coming down heavily on those who had mocked the semi-high speed T-18 Vande Bharat Express and the very concept of 'Make in India', Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday dubbed it as an "insult" to engineers and technicians of the country who had been working tirelessly to make the project a success.
Addressing a public meeting in Varanasi, his parliamentary constituency, the PM, in a rebut to the criticism by Congress chief Rahul Gandhi and Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, called upon the engineers and technical staff of the Chennai coach factory to take the negativity emanating from the unfound criticism by politicians in their stride and move ahead.
"Some persons targeting and mocking at Vande Bharat train. This is unfortunate. This is an insult to engineers and technicians involved in the project," asserted the PM adding: "People should be aware of the designs of such politicians." He was on a day's visit to his parliamentary constituency Varanasi where the PM inaugurated and laid foundation of development projects worth Rs 3382 crore.
PM Modi, however called upon the engineers of Chennai railway coach factory, where Vande Bharat project has taken shape, not to get demoralised by such canard being spread by politicians.
"I have full faith in the ability of the engineers and technicians and the country is proud of them for their diligence. I have confidence that they will make the bullet train project a reality in India and run it too successfully," said the PM.
Notably, Vande Bharat, the semi-high speed express train, had come under criticism by Congress chief Rahul Gandhi and SP chief Akhilesh Yadav when it developed some technical snag on its return journey from Varanasi to Delhi on the day of its inaugural run.
While Rahul Gandhi had taken to twitter to suggest the PM that 'Make in India' needed a re-think as it had failed, that's what many felt. The Congress chief had also claimed that his party thinking very deeply about how it would be done.
Similarly, Akhilesh was quite vocal in mocking at the project by tweeting: "After the inauguration, fumes were seen in Vande Bharat train, power failure inside coaches, snag developed in brakes after which train came to a halt. Vande Bharat is a story of development. Farmers are angry, youths are unemployed, security system has collapsed and country's economy shattered."
Reiterating his commitment to zero-tolerance to corruption in the country, the PM referred to the loan waiver schemes for framers during the last decade or so.
"There used to be loan waiver schemes worth hardly Rs 50,000-55,000 crore occasionally in a decade. The money used to be distributed selectively among farmers," said the PM training guns at the previous central government led by Congress.
He claimed that his government had introduced the honorarium worth Rs 7.5 lakh crore for the farmers with 2.5 crore beneficiaries in UP alone."Aapka yeh pradhan sewak, poori imaandari se aapki sewa karne mein laga hai (This chief servant is working to serve you with honesty)," said PM Narendra Modi.
The PM didn't forget to repeat the appeal to elect a stable government yet again so that the pace of development that was set during the last five years could continue in the country. Earlier while speaking at Sant Raidas temple on the birth anniversary of the saint, the PM took a veiled jibe at caste based parties like SP and SP.
Invoking the saint, the PM urgedthe people to end caste discrimination and identify those who promote it for -"self interest-".
Modi said caste discrimination was an impediment in achieving social harmony. -"Irrespective of caste, creed and other factors, all should get benefit of government schemes,-" he said after laying the foundation stone of Ravidas Janmasthali (birthplace) area development project in Varanasi, his Lok Sabha constituency.
The Prime Minister also paid tributes to Ramesh Yadav of Varanasi, the CRPF jawan who was martyred in Pulwama terror attack on February 14. "Entire country will be forever indebted to families of those soldiers who laid lives for the country", he said.