After laying the foundation stone for the Delhi-Meerut expressway project, Narendra Modi lambasted the Congress for disrupting Parliament due to 'political reasons'.
He said having “enjoyed power” for over six decades it has no right to destroy its functioning for “political reasons” and hold back the country’s development.
“Tomorrow is January 1. When you are going to celebrate New Year, you should take a vow to allow Parliament to run and do its work and not pose hurdles for the country’s development,” Modi said.
He was addressing a public rally after laying foundation stone of a 14-lane expressway connecting Delhi with Meerut.
Focusing his attack primarily on Congress, Modi said, “This is the misfortune of India, Parliament where laws are made is not being allowed to function. Those who have been rejected by people seized its functioning.
“They do not allow Parliament to run. I request all these political parties not to do so. Since I have not got an opportunity to speak in Lok Sabha, I am taking the opportunity to air my views in ‘Jan Sabha’. People have sent us to Parliament to debate, discuss and decide,” he said.
The Prime Minister said Congress has more responsibility to ensure functioning of Parliament as they had “enjoyed power” for over six decades.
“It is our responsibility to accomplish the work entrusted on us by people. This responsibility specially lies on those who have ruled the country for over 60 years. They know what is the responsibility of Parliament.
“It is specially their responsibility to ensure that country’s development is not stopped because of their political reasons. They have more responsibility as people had given them opportunity to run the country for over six decades.
“I understand the anger of those who have not got a chance to rule the country. But those who have enjoyed all kinds of power for 60 years have no right to halt Parliament and destroy its functioning,” he said.
The Prime Minister’s attack on Congress on the issue of Parliament disruptions come after key government bills including the GST were held up due to a stalemate with the opposition party.
Modi also chose the occasion to announce that the government has abolished interview process for class III and class IV employees and now appointments will happen strictly on basis of merit.
While noting that the Central government is implementing it from January 1 as a “New Year Gift”, the Prime Minister urged state governments to do the same.
Hailing the measure as an attempt to provide opportunity to the poor minus any corruption possibility, the Prime Minister said that as an MP from Uttar Pradesh, he also urges Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav to abolish interviews in class III and class IV jobs so that youths of the state get jobs on the basis of merit.
Terming the expressway project as “highway to development”, the Prime Minister said that it will lead to promotion of weekend tourism in a number of areas adjoining the expressway and development of a number of satellite towns as well.
“We are not merely constructing a road, this is a highway to development,” he said as he recalled the vision of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee about road connectivity in the nation.
“Vajpayeeji worked to connect India through Golden Quadrilateral Project. To connect rural India, he launched PM Gram Sadak Yojana,” he said.
Addressing public, Modi stressed the need for better road connectivity and infrastructure development in sync with changing times as he hailed the proposed expressway that will bring down travel time between Delhi and Meerut to 45 minutes.
He said the highway project, costing over Rs 7,500 crore, will also “pave way for pollution-free future.”
Stating that when it is certain that in coming days speed will be fast, PM said infrastructure, too, should be developed on that pattern adding “My government believes in converting crisis into an opportunity.”
He said three decades ago people in villages were content with ordinary roads but now they have come to understand that if they want development their village should be linked to fast track expressway.
The highway project will pave for economic development in western UP with satellite townships developing along the Meerut Expressway.
The ‘Swarnim Chaturbhuj’ (Golden Quadrilateral) express highway that connects East-West-North-South of the country has brought India at par with developed nations, he said.
Dehradun will also get benefit from the expressway as it will provide fast connectivity without any bottlenecks at NH 24, he said, adding that the government is working on all-weather roads in Haridwar, Rishikesh, Badrinath, Kedarnath and Yamnotri in Uttarakhand.
Recalling the historical value attached to the western UP city, the Prime Minister said Meerut is especially remembered for its key role in the 1857 first war of independence.
Many middle class and upper middle class families plan weekend outings nowadays. A good road network around Delhi will be beneficial for them and boost tourism and generate employment in the region, the PM said.
He added that his government was working on inter-linking of rivers, which will help farmers during drought situation and benefit sugar cane farmers in western UP as well.
Speaking on the occasion, Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari said the proposed expressway would bring down the travel time between the two cities to 45 minutes.
Gadkari also said that the government was working on a highway project which will reduce travel time between Delhi and Dehradun to about three hours.