NEW DELHI: The Congress on Thursday took a swipe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his Varanasi visit, saying the city wants good governance and not speeches.
The party's chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala took to Twitter to pose several questions such as why was Varanasi "left to fend for itself" during the second wave of COVID pandemic and did 'Kashi become Kyoto'.
The prime minister, who visited his parliamentary constituency of Varanasi on Thursday, inaugurated and laid the foundation stones of multiple development projects worth more than Rs 1,500 crore at the IIT-BHU ground.
Later, he inaugurated the International Cooperation and Convention Centre -- Rudraksh, constructed with Japanese assistance.
Alleging lack of development in Varanasi, Surjewala said the development of Kashi, the city of Lord Vishwanath, is the wish of every person in the country and asked what did Prime Minister Modi do as an MP in the last seven years.
"Was the Ganga cleaned up? In 2013-14, 32 dirty drains used to empty in the Ganga, today it is 34.
Sewage treatment plants sometimes work and sometimes don't," he said in a series of tweets.
Asking rhetorically whether Kashi had become Kyoto, Surjewala said in one instance of rainfall there was waterlogging while the sewers got blocked sewer and garbage spread on the roads, but the "smart city" is missing.
He alleged that Varanasi was left to fend for itself during the pandemic.
The Banarasi sari industry, which provides employment to five lakh families, is on the verge of closure while handlooms and powerlooms are getting ruined, the Congress spokesperson alleged.
In the name of Baba Vishwanath Corridor, why were dozens of temples and 250 to 300-year-old buildings demolished, he asked.
The Congress leader accused the BJP of tampering with the history and culture of the city.
"Why Jayapur and Nagepur, both the villages adopted by the prime minister, are in shambles? If the villages adopted by the prime minister cannot make progress, what will happen to Kashi?" Surjewala said.
"When will Varanasi and Purvanchal's wait for development, progress and employment end? he asked.
Taking a dig at Modi, Surjewala said, "Swapanjeevi ji (one who shows big dreams), Kashi needs good governance, not speeches."
Speaking about development works in Kashi in the past seven years, Modi remarked that it is marching ahead on the development path while maintaining its original identity.