BJP leaders from the city today attributed the inaugural run of the city’s first air-conditioned suburban service to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “visionary mantra of vikas”, calling it “vikas” in the “true sense”. “This is vikas (progress) in the true sense which is now underway and we are travelling in this grand train. It is a result of Modiji’s vision which lays emphasis on speedy execution of mass transportation projects. It’s a dream come true for Mumbaikars,” Vinod Tawde, senior BJP leader and minister in the Maharashtra government said. Tawde was present at the flagging off along with other BJP leaders such as MPs Kirit Somaiya and Gopal Shetty, Mumbai BJP chief Ashish Shelar and MLC Praveen Darekar. Shelar termed the development as “historical” and credited it to Modi’s mantra of governance which is committed to providing comfort to commuters. “This train is a bonanza to travellers and we hope such trains play a crucial role in minimising the number of cars on the roads and help solve traffic problems,” Shelar said. BJP MP Kirit Somaiya called it a historical day and said that credit went to PM Modi for getting the train on track after a wait of ten years. “In the coming 10 years, all rakes on the suburban system will have at least one air-conditioned coach,” he said.
However ally and Shiv Sena MP Arvind Sawant rejected such talk and said that the credit of the train went to railway officials. He said, “The credit goes to railway officers and I have already congratulated them yesterday. Earlier, we stood like a pillar behind the BJP government, but they forget sometime.” Jubilant passengers and supporters of the BJP present at the occasion shouted slogans of “Bharat Mata ki Jai” with many attributing the choice of date as an ode to former PM and Bharat Ratna awardee Atal Bihari Vajpayee who is celebrating his 93rd birthday today.