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Congress and drought are twin brothers, go hand in hand: PM Modi in Barmer

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in Rajasthan’s Barmer to inaugurate an oil refinery, praised the state’s Vasundhara Raje government for managing the drought situation and helping people.

india Updated: Jan 16, 2018 15:49 IST
Agencies, Barmer
Narendra Modi‬,‪Rajasthan‬,‪Barmer district‬
Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Barmer on Tuesday.(ANI Twitter)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday launched a scathing attack on the Congress saying it has “hoodwinked” people by only laying foundation stones for projects and has done nothing for the poor.

Speaking at a function organised to start work on the Rs 43,129 crore Barmer oil refinery project here, Modi said the Congress and drought are ‘twin brothers’ because wherever the party goes, there is drought.

“The Congress and drought are ‘twin brothers’, wherever the party will go there will be drought only. Some people mislead citizens often. Their misleading the nation on Barmer refinery is not the exception, but the norm. There are several such areas in which they have been misleading the nation for years,” said Modi.

He added that the Congress-led UPA government allotted Rs 500 crore for One Rank, One Pension (OROP) even after knowing that this number is not the accurate figure.

“Is this the respect they had for the armed forces? For 40 years, nothing was done about OROP. Before the 2014 elections, a token sum was allocated towards OROP even when it was widely known this sum is unrealistic and too less. It was our commitment to make OROP a reality and we worked towards making that possible,” said Modi.

He added that when the BJP assumed office, one of the first things it did was to see what work has been done on the promises in the Railway Budget.

“Just for a few claps in Parliament, some people made promises they could never keep. We were determined to end that culture of misleading. The manner in which chief minister Vasundhara Raje has managed the drought situation during both of her terms and helped the people is commendable. It is in contrast to the opposition in the state whose poor drought management in Rajasthan is widely known,” said Modi.

He asserted that this is a time for ‘Sankalp Se Siddhi’, “We have to identify our targets and work towards achieving them by 2022, when we mark 75 years of freedom”.

The state of the art refinery will be first of its kind in the country, and is expected to change the growth landscape of Rajasthan and western parts of the state in particular.

The project is a joint venture of Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) and the Rajasthan government.

Ahead of the event, the ruling BJP and opposition Congress slugged it out to take credit for the refinery.

The Congress said its then president Sonia Gandhi had laid foundation stone of the refinery on September 22, 2013 and Modi was “re-laying” the foundation stone.

But both oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan and Raje said the foundation laying was a political stunt done days before the model code of conduct for assembly elections came into force on September 27, 2013.

Neither the land was acquired for the project nor the environment clearance obtained for the foundation laying, they said.

Tuesday’s function comes weeks before by-elections for Alwar and Ajmer Lok Sabha, and Mandalgarh Assembly seats in Rajasthan on January 29. The state goes to polls later this year.

First Published: Jan 16, 2018 15:17 IST