Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said while his Government focused on development, some people in the country were determined to malign his image since 2014, and declared so publicly but India’s poor, middle classes, tribals and dalit-backwards had provided him a protective shield.
Addressing a gathering after flagging-off the Bhopal-New Delhi Vande Bharat Express train in Bhopal, Narendra Modi said the people who are trying to harm his image had engaged many others in the effort by giving them “supari” (contract). These people were upset, having failed in their designs, and now talked of “Modi teri kabar khudegi” (Modi, you will be buried), the PM said.
Dwelling on how his government had focused on the welfare of the poor and middle classes, the prime minister said those trying to damage his image were adopting new strategies, and getting help from some others based both inside and outside the country.
Amidst these conspiracies, citizens of the country should focus on developing and building the nation, he said. “We have to ensure a greater role for Madhya Pradesh in developed India. This new Vande Bharat Express is a part of this resolution,” he said.
Attacking the Congress party, Modi said 21st century India was working with a new approach and thinking. Earlier, the governments were so busy in appeasement that it never occurred to them to satisfy people’s needs. They just focused on strengthening their vote-banks. These Governments considered “one family of the country as the nation’s first family,” he said.
They had left the country’s poor and the middle classes to their fate and there was none to care for the people’s aspirations and hopes, the prime minister said. The Indian Railways was the most evident example of this. The railways was the largest means of transport for India’s common people, travelling with families. Should not this means of travel be upgraded, or left in poor shape, he asked.
Upon arriving at the venue, the prime minister carried out an inspection of the Rani Kamlapati-New Delhi Vande Bharat Express and interacted with children and crew of the train. The new train is the 11th Vande Bharat train in the country.
Governor of Madhya Pradesh Mangu Bhai Patel, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan and Union Minister for Railways Ashwini Vaishnaw were present on the occasion.
Narendra Modi expressed grief about the tragedy that occurred during Ram Navami day in a temple in Indore.
He said the Vande Bharat train will reduce travel time between Delhi and Bhopal and will usher in many facilities and conveniences for professionals and youth. Mr Modi recalled that he had inaugurated the Rani Kamlapati Station.
The prime minister highlighted benefits of the train for tourism in the area as Sanchi, Bhimbetka, Bhojpur and Udayagiri caves will start getting more footfalls. This will also improve opportunities for employment, income and self-employment.
He said that governments in the past could have easily upgraded the already existing rail network, but development of railways was sacrificed due to vested political interests. Even after decades of Independence, Modi said, Northeastern states were not connected to rail network. He said the government had strived to make Indian Railways the best rail network in the world.
On the negative publicity that Indian Railways received before 2014, the Prime Minister addressed the issue of thousands of unmanned gates in this extensive rail network causing fatal accidents. The broad gauge network is free from unmanned gates today.
Earlier, news related to train accidents causing loss of life and property was commonplace, but the Indian Railways has become much more secure today, he pointed out. He highlighted the scope of Made in India ‘Kavach’ is being expanded to strengthen the security of passengers.