Union railways minister Piyush Goyal said on Friday that sentiment and politics are behind the Telugu Desam Party (TDP)'s claims that the Centre has ignored the aspirations of Andhra Pradesh. Goyal was speaking as part of a discussion during News18's Rising India Summit on Friday.
His comments have come shortly after the TDP exited the NDA which is ruling at the Centre.
Goyal hit out at the state's chief minister Chandrababu Naidu, saying, "He failed to do anything. We gave them funds, but if you go to Amaravati, you will find that nothing has happened on the ground. Now, he is blaming us. They only asked for money but failed to implement anything."
Union minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari also commented on TDP leaders' claims about Andhra Pradesh's claims of the state being neglected and said, "I do not wish to comment on the political aspects of the issue. However, the fact is that Andhra Pradesh has got twice the number of roads as compared to the previous regime."
Gadkari further said, "If we give special status to Andhra Pradesh, then other states will also demand it. This is not a feasible idea."
However, Goyal, to a question on whether there was a possibility of the TDP returning to the NDA fold, said, "Politics is all about possibilities."
The railway minister was also asked about what he felt was lacking in the previous regime. To this, he said, "Earlier, there was no vision and no big picture ideas. The leadership was not willing to take bold decisions. Also, now, as we have a corruption-free regime, we do not face problems of funds."
Speaking to the gathering, Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari also announced that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate a 14-lane road connecting Delhi and Dasna on 10 April.
"By next year, we will build roads at the speed of 40 kilometres per year," Gadkari said.
Goyal, speaking about the priorities of the Railways, said, "This government's first focus is on poor passengers. The Indian Railways remains primarily a public utility service."
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Updated Date: Mar 16, 2018 19:46:59 IST