PM Modi takes 'April Fool' dig at Congress, says some people have given 'supari' to malign him

The Prime Minister said this while flagging off India's 11th Vande Bharat Express train, which will run from Bhopal to Delhi

Published: 01st April 2023 08:08 PM  |   Last Updated: 01st April 2023 08:08 PM   |  A+A-

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses during foundation stone laying and inauguration of various development projects in Varanasi.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi (Photo | PTI)

By Express News Service

BHOPAL: Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off India’s 11th and Madhya Pradesh’s first Vande Bharat Express train from Bhopal’s Rani Kamlapati station on Saturday.

This came 16 months after PM Modi had on November 15, 2021 unveiled the Rani Kamlapati railway station (formerly named Habibganj) as the country's first world class railway station.

In the last six months, this was the PM’s fourth visit to MP, where assembly polls are scheduled for the year-end.

The Rani Kamlapati-Hazrat Nizamuddin Vande Bharat Express train, which will render semi-high speed connectivity between the MP capital and the national capital in seven-and-a-half hours, had 300 school students on board on its inaugural run. The PM had a short interaction with the children, before flagging off the train in the presence of railway minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, MP governor Mangubhai C Patel and CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan.

Taking an ‘April Fool’ dig at the opposition Congress, the PM said, “When the inaugural run of this train was fixed for April 1, our Congress friends thought Modi would make everyone April Fool, but you see, the train has actually started on the same date. This train symbolizes developing India’s growing skill, capability and confidence.”

Modi lashed out at the Congress and opposition, saying, “Amid all this development, I want to draw your attention to another important issue. Some people in our country since 2014 have taken a vow to malign Modi’s image. For it, they’ve given supari to all kinds of people and aiding them are some people operating from within and outside the country.”

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“But much to their disappointment in today’s India, the entire poor, middle-class, tribals, Dalits and backward sections have turned out to be Modi’s suraksha kavach (security shield). Owing to this they (opposition) have started behaving madly and even taken a vow to dig Modi’s grave. But amid all these conspiracies, every citizen of the country will have to focus on the country's development and nation building.”

Taking another dig at the Congress, Modi said, “Previous governments treated just one family (Nehru-Gandhi family) as the country’s first family, leaving behind country’s ordinary families, including the poor and middle class to fend on their own. Its living example is the Indian Railways, which has over the decades been an ordinary Indian family’s preferred mode of transport.”

“Had the previous governments wanted, they could have very well modernized the existing rail network after independence. But narrow political interest, focus on populist promises and appeasement and vote bank politics, resulted in sacrificing railways' development. The situation was so bad that even decades after independence, our North Eastern states remained largely cut off from railway connectivity,” he said.

“In the last nine years since our government came to power, we’ve focused on how to transform Indian Railways into the world's best rail network. In this year’s annual budget, we’ve allocated record money for railways, contrary to the past when railways development was seen as a loss making exercise. The budget for railways has continuously been increased over the last 9 years. In this year’s budget, Rs 13,000 crore has been allocated for railways related projects in Madhya Pradesh alone, compared to just Rs 600 crore for MP before 2014,” he added.

“The best example of how the railways continues to be modernized is the steady manner in which rail route electrification work is underway. MP is among the 11 states, where cent percent rail electrification has been achieved. Prior to 2014, the average 600 km route was being electrified annually, but it has now jumped to 6000 km every year,” the PM maintained.

Congratulating MP on its first Vande Bharat train, the PM said, “This train will not only render new service to working professionals, youth and businesspersons, but will further boost tourism potential of the region, through accelerated connectivity to tourist sites adjoining Bhopal, including Sanchi Stupa, Bhimbetka, Bhojpur and Udaigiri caves.”

“Earlier, MPs wrote to the government for allowing/increasing stoppages of trains, but now the MPs are writing to start totally Swadeshi technology-based Vande Bharat Express trains from their areas. There is growing demand for starting the train from every corner of the country, which clearly establishes that this train service has become a super hit nationwide.”   

More on the Rani Kamlapati-Hazrat Nizamuddin Vande Bharat Express train

  • 11th Vande Bharat Express in the country and first such service in MP.
  • Train will travel to and fro between Rani Kamlapati and Hazrat Nizamuddin railway stations (708 km) in 7 hours and 30 minutes.
  • Totally based on Swadeshi (indigenous) technology.
  • Comprises 16 chair car coaches with 180 degrees rotating recliner seats for 1100 passengers, besides automatic doors.
  • It also has Wi-Fi connectivity, CCTV cameras and special emergency measures.
  • It’s totally differently-abled friendly with features like seat numbers written in Braille script, special toilets and touch screen facilities.
  • Will render semi-high speed connectivity between MP capital and the national capital

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  • Arul Susai

    PM maligns everyone critical of him. Let him first have basic respect for the opposition parties and learn to take them along for the security and development of the country. He promotes himself in everything and so he turns out to be a dictator. He is not essential. People are important
    2 months ago reply
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