Delhi Metro Magenta line: The new line connecting Botanical Garden and Kalkaji Temple was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on December 25. While Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath was present in the launch ceremony, his Delhi counterpart was not invited. Now, Aam Admi Party (AAP) is seeking donations over the issue along with the city government’s spat with the Delhi Lt Governor. Meanwhile, the party administration has sent out email seeking a minimum Rs 100 donations to express outrage over the snub.
In the email, the party asked volunteers to “unite and convert every ounce of it into a powerful force” through a minimum donation of Rs 100. “Ever since we found that the Delhi CM was not invited for the inauguration of Magenta Line of the Metro, we got emails, tweets, posts pouring outrage…. Let’s convert every ounce of outrage into a powerful force…. created by our collective donations,” read the email. A party official said over 700 volunteers made donations on Wednesday after the email.
In the launch ceremony, PM Modi was accompanied by Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik and CM Adityanath. However, one significant name which was missing from the list of guests was that of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. This had garnered a lot of eyeballs. AAP leader Ashutosh had even wondered how PM Modi could be be so “narrow-minded.” This assumed significance as it is known that PM Modi and CM Kejriwal do not share cordial political relationship and the AAP convener has time to time taken potshots at Modi over an array of issues. It has been learnt that invitation list was formulated by Uttar Pradesh government. Moreover, Noida Authority organised the event. Principal Secretary to UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Avanish Awasthi, had said that only the Noida section of the line is being inaugurated on December 25. “That is why an invitation has not been sent to the Delhi chief minister,” he was quoted as saying by Indian Express report.
Both the Delhi government and the Centre are equal stakeholders in the DMRC. This also comes in the wake of the much hyped tussle between the Delhi government and the Centre over the recent Metro fare hike. An AAP leader said, “The DMRC has not followed protocol — by not inviting the chief minister to the event and by holding the inauguration in Noida. This is without precedent. The Delhi government has an equal stake in the Metro and is a shareholder.” Notably, in 2009, when the Metro first entered Uttar Pradesh, the then chief ministers of Delhi and UP, Sheila Dikshit and Mayawati, were present at the opening.
Kejriwal missed the ceremony even as this is the third Metro line to be inaugurated by the Prime Minister in 2017. He had earlier inaugurated the Kochi Metro in June and the Hyderabad Metro in November. He will travel on the stretch, according to reports.
PM Modi also addressed the gathering at the Botanical Garden Metro Station after taking a ride along the new section of the transport network. The 12.64-km stretch runs between Kalkaji and Noida’s Botanical Garden and accounts for a travel time of 19 minutes, thus facilitating easy access for commuters from South Delhi to Noida, and vice versa.