Nitin Gadkari, Ghulam Nabi Azad trade charges on govt's 100-day performance

Written by PTI | New Delhi | Updated: Sep 3 2014, 03:33am hrs
The government and the opposition today clashed on the first 100 days of the BJP-led government with Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari claiming achievements of the new regime and senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad accusing the NDA of hijacking the UPA programmes.

"The beginning of the government has been very good and satisfactory. We have been able to decrease the inflation. Growth rate has shown a remarkable increase from 4.5 per cent to 5.7 per cent.

"Employment opportunities will increase once infrastructure grows and capital investment increases," Road Transport and Highways Minister Gadkari said while participating in a debate to mark the 100 days of the NDA government, arranged by 'Aaj Tak TV'.

He said work was on to roll projects worth lakhs of crores of rupee stuck due to policies of the previous government and opening more than 1.5 crore bank accounts for the poor was one of the major achievements of the government as unfortunately despite 68 years of independence 60 per cent of population in India didn't have a bank account.

Azad hit back saying that the NDA has done nothing new in the 100 days to claim credit for anything, it has only repackaged UPA's schemes.

"NDA has no parallel in re-naming and re-packaging our programmes. PM Modi was getting credit of UPA's works...In fact it can put to shame leading international advertising agencies when it comes to packaging... It will take more than five years for NDA ministers to inaugurate the projects launched by UPA," Azad said.

Gadkari said: "It is the frustration, depression and shock of losing elections which is being reflected."

Azad said virtually the NDA government was a "one man show" and its ministers had no say in any decision, including keeping personal staff. "None of the NDA ministers have the freedom to go for a foreign visit without PM's permission," he said.

To this Gadkari said: "Some people do not like the face of Prime Minister Narendra Modi...They get sick on seeing him but it is a fact that he has been democratically elected with absolute majority and leading the nation on the path of development. We are happy in his Cabinet."

"PM is the head of the government, it is his duty as well as prerogative to decide and evaluate the functioning of his ministers. ...Whether anybody likes his face or not. There are people who are afraid of Modi... they want to tarnish his image by spreading rumours about his behaviour and leadership," he said.

Azad took a dig him saying what kind of freedom was it when ministers were being closely watched as to who was having lunch with whom and who has to change his dress.

Gadkari rubbished it also saying that here was no snooping done in his house.