Modi said that amid the conspiracy to batter his image, he focused on development of the country
Bhopal: In an apparent reference to the Congress, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday alleged that some people wanted to “dig Modi’s grave”. Flagging off the Vande Bharat Express here, Modi said a resolution to tarnish his image was made after he became PM in 2014.
“People inside the country and outside were hired to taint my image at any cost. They could not succeed as people of India have become my ‘suraksha kavach’ (protective shield). Hence, these people are now frustrated and made a resolution to dig my grave,” he said.
Modi said that amid the conspiracy to batter his image, he focused on development of the country and Vande Bharat Express project was a part of his determination to ensure progress of the nation. Describing Vande Bharat Express as a symbol of modernisation of railways, he said the sector was neglected by the previous governments since 1947.
“India inherited a huge railway network after Independence. However, there was hardly any attempt to develop the railways. The North East region was totally neglected in railway networks after Independence,” Modi said.
The PM said he focused on the development of the railways in the northeast as soon as took change in 2014.
He recalled how railway stations in India used to be unclean and how people had to bear with trains running late and how railway tickets were sold in black at railway stations frequently. People had given up hope on railways, he added.
The railway sector has now transformed and in the last nine years, efforts were made to modernise railways to make it one of the best in the world, he said.
He said 11 states including Madhya Pradesh achieved 100 per cent electrification of railway networks and unmanned railway gates were now a thing of the past.
Modi said railway modernisation has created jobs for people and generated income for artisans. Under the ‘one station one product’ project, 600 outlets were opened at railway stations to sell products of artisans like designer garments, handicrafts, paintings and other artworks.
Over 1 lakh passengers bought the products of artisans from these outlets so far. He said the introduction of Bhopal-Delhi Vande Bharat Express will promote tourism to Bhim Bhetka, Sanchi Stupa and Udayagiri caves, generating employment.
“The 21st century India has a new approach and new mindset,” he added.