New Delhi, Apr 12: Coming down heavily on the previous governments, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday alleged that selfish and mean politics had always overshadowed the modernisation of the Indian Railways in the past.
The Prime Minister flagged off the Ajmer-Delhi Cantt Vande Bharat Express, the world's first semi-high-speed passenger train on high-rise overhead electric (OHE) territory via video conferencing today.
At the launch event which he joined via video conferencing, Prime Minister said that post-Independence, political interests always dominated the modernization of Railways.
"Unfortunately, selfish and mean politics had always overshadowed the modernisation of the Railways. The large-scale corruption did neither let the development happen in Railways nor did it let even the Railways' selection process be transparent," he said.
Only after 2014, PM Modi said that the revolutionary transformation started taking place
"Who would become the railway minister was decided by looking at the political interest. It was the political interest that such trains were announced which never actually ran. The situation was such that after snatching the land of the poor, they were given a job in the railways. Railway safety...cleanliness everything was ignored. Changes in all these arrangements started coming after the year 2014," stated the Prime Minister.
Prime Minister's remarks came against the backdrop of central agencies probing the land-for-jobs case involving Rashtriya Janata Dal chief and former Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav and his family members.
He said Vande Bharat Express enriches the spirit of 'India First, Always First'.
The prime minister said the Vande Bharat train has today become synonymous with development, modernity, self-reliance and stability. "Today's journey of Vande Bharat will lead us to the journey of developed India tomorrow," he said.
Ever since Vande Bharat started, he said, about 60 lakh people have travelled in these trains. The biggest feature of high-speed Vande Bharat is that it saves people time. From fast speed to beautiful design, Vande Bharat train is endowed with many features, he said.
Prime Minister said the central government is also working on about 1,400 km of roads in the border areas of Rajasthan. Along with road, the central government is also giving top priority to rail connectivity in Rajasthan.
Prime Minister said Vande Bharat Express will immensely benefit the tourism industry of Rajasthan.
"I am fortunate to have flagged off the 6th Vande Bharat Express in the last two months," he said.