PM delayed bullet train for Guj polls: Congress


Senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge termed the ground-breaking ceremony for the high-speed rail at Ahmedabad as an “election bullet train” which was part of a “set pattern” followed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi of making big ticket announcements in poll-bound states.

The main opposition party also asked the Modi government to focus more on railway safety as more than 259 passengers have been killed in 29 major accidents since the NDA assumed office in May 2014.

Kharge also accused Modi of remaining silent on the other high-speed railway projects planned by the UPA government to connect Chennai-Bengaluru-Mumbai and Ludhiana-Delhi-Kolkata.

“This is nothing but an ‘election bullet train’,” Kharge said pointing out that the feasibility study for the project was approved in December 2013 and the report was submitted in 2015. “The Modi government delayed the project by nearly three years to time the launch with the Gujarat elections,” he said. Former Union minister R P N Singh also accused the Modi government of focusing on one big project that would cost Rs 1.1 lakh crore, but “completely abdicating its responsibility” towards passenger safety. Kharge said there were 1.42 lakh vacant posts in the railways, a large chunk of which included staff responsible for ensuring safety of the railway network.

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