Taking a dig at the proposed Ahmedabad-Mumbai bullet train service, former Uttar Pradesh chief minister and Samajwadi Party
(SP) president Akhilesh Yadav
on Thursday said the high-speed rail should have been launched between New Delhi and Kolkata, intersecting Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
He said this region was densely populated and the project would have benefited more people, besides providing more jobs to the youth spread across a larger area in these states.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi
and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe
on Thursday laid the foundation of India’s first bullet train, touted as the template of collaboration between the two countries. Later, the two heads of state had also attended the ceremony for the ‘High-Speed Railway Training Institute’ being set up in Vadodara.
Yadav, however, claimed he was per se not against the bullet train, but underlined that the service should have been initially launched on the Delhi-Kolkata route traversing Lucknow, Varanasi and Bihar.
In what seemed to be a veiled attack on PM Modi for harbouring a bias for his home state Gujarat, Yadav said: “During the SP
leaders always attacked me for launching most of my projects from Saifai (Yadav’s native place in Etawah district). However, PM Modi has also launched the bullet train project
in his home state of Gujarat.”
Continuing with his line of attack, the former CM also said that the Gomti Riverfront was a more picturesque background for taking pictures. Pictures of Modi, Abe and Akie Abe- the Japanese premier’s wife- had surfaced on Wednesday as the trio posed at the Sabarmati Riverfront in Ahmedabad.
The Gomti Riverfront Development was a flagship project of the SP
government under Akhilesh Yadav.
The Rs 1,500-cr project was scrapped after the BJP
government assumed office under Yogi Adityanath following an electoral mandate in the 2017 Uttar Pradesh assembly elections.
The project was dropped over corruption charges and a judicial probe was instituted to investigate the matter.
Meanwhile, Yadav flayed the Yogi government over the crop loan waiver scheme, saying even the PM had, in run up to the 2017 state polls, promised full loan waiver.
“The state farmers are still awaiting full farm loan waiver as promised by the PM. So far, the farmers have only been utterly disappointed,” he said.