‘Bundle of lies’: Congress dismisses Bihar’s special package announced by PM in 2015
Talking to media, AICC general secretary Randeep Singh Surjewala said that schemes only worth Rs 1,559 crore of the package could be executed in the last five years.Updated: Oct 20, 2020, 16:40 IST
All India Congress Committee general secretary Randeep Singh Surjewala on Tuesday dubbed Rs 1.25 lakh crore special package to Bihar, announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during 2015 assembly elections, as a ‘bundle of lies’ to take the people for a ride.
Talking to media, he said that schemes only worth Rs 1,559 crore of the package could be executed in the last five years and wondered why was the BJP trying to trumpet it as a success story.
A media clip, juxtaposing PM Modi’s announcement of the package and chief minister Nitish Kumar’s counter wherein he had then dismissed it as ‘making mountain out of a molehill’, was also displayed during the media conference.
Surjewala further alleged that work on 27 out of 44 national highway (NH) projects, which were part of a project worth Rs 54,713 crore under the special package, remained unfinished, while 17 projects were still waiting for the detailed projects report (DPR). The Congress leader also released the list of road projects, worth Rs 27,000 crore, which are still waiting to get a go-ahead.
He said that the Union ministry of road transport and highway (MoRTH) had made a submission to this effect in Parliament in February this year.
Surjewala said that work on Rs 2,000 crore Manihari-Sahebganj road bridge over Ganga was yet to begin. “Foundation of the central university in Bhagalpur, costing Rs 1,500, crore, could not be laid as the state government could not allot Rs 500 acre for it. The skill development university, which was to be built in Bihar under the special package, is now being shifted to Varanasi,” said the AICC general secretary.
The Congress leader said that Rs 10,000 power project at Buxar, with a capacity to produce 1300 MW, remained a distant dream, even as the memorandum of understating to execute the project was signed during the UPA government in 2013. He claimed that the Centre had put this scheme in the special package.
Claiming that the people of Bihar would be giving a befitting reply to the BJP-JDU’s bid to cheat them, Surejewala said that the proposals to build civil airports at Patna, Raxaul and Purnia at the cost of Rs 2,700 crore were still waiting for completion. “Similarly, the ambitious scheme to revive Barauni refinery plant (at the cost of Rs 21,476 crore) and a 22,500 kilometre-long network of rural roads (costing Rs 13,820 crore) could not get completed,” he added.
The Congress leader also took a swipe at Union home minister Amit Shah’s claim that Bihar progressed significantly due to the Central package and said that what better could people expect from the BJP-led dispensation which refused to allot even a penny to Bihar out of Rs 100 crore allocated under Ramayan circuit.
Referring to the law and order condition in Bihar, Surjewala alleged that the state witnessed the most heinous crimes, such as gang-rapes of minors, since the Independence. “Instead of penalising the perpetrators, the JD(U)-BJP combine has offered a ticket to those involved in the case,” said the Congress leader, alleging that leaders of the ruling dispensation, who thrived on scams, had started burning files in the secretariat after smelling the change.
Dismissing the charge that the Congress had become a pillion rider to the RJD, the AICC leader said that he trusts Tejashwi Prasad Yadav because of his youthfulness and energy to work. “The Congress has the experience and the vision for governance to lead the state for a better future,” he added.
AICC spokesperson Pawan Khera, AICC media panellist and MLC Prem Chandra Mishra also spoke on te occasion.