Slamming Rahul Gandhi for his “two Indias” remark, Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia on Saturday said the Congress leader might be referring to the pre-2014 situation in the country marked by the “lack of development, corruption and economic mismanagement”.
He also accused the Bhupesh Baghel-led Congress government in Chhattisgarh of not cooperating with the aviation ministry in its efforts to expand aviation facilities in the state.
Talking to reporters at the Swami Vivekanand Airport after arriving in Raipur on a day-long visit, the Union minister said that a new India is being created under the PM’s leadership where corruption is checked and the doors of growth and development have been opened.
When asked about Rahul Gandhi’s “two Indias” statement, Mr Scindia said, “I am surprised that such a statement can be given by any citizen of India. My India is one and united. My country is a family. There has always been a brotherhood culture in my country.”
“Perhaps Rahul Gandhi was referring to the situation before 2014 when no progress and development but only corruption and economic mismanagement existed. But after (PM) Modi ji came to power, another country has emerged where corruption has been curbed and the doors of progress and development have been opened. Now India has been emerging on the world stage. It is now a country where the poor not only have their rights but new dimensions of development and progress are in their hands,” he added.
Rahul Gandhi, in his recent speech in Lok Sabha and at a function in Raipur, had accused the BJP-led Centre of dividing the nation into two India — one belonging to select billionaires and the other to crores of common people.
Mr Scindia later addressed a press conference at Kushabhau Thakre Parisar – the state BJP office – in Raipur, where he accused the Bhupesh Baghel government of not cooperating with the aviation ministry in its efforts to expand aviation facilities in the state.
He also alleged corruption in the public distribution system in the Congress-ruled state.
Queried about the work being done for the expansion of airports and facilities in Chhattisgarh, the union minister said that the Raipur airport has a cargo facility in an area of 460 square meters and his ministry has planned to increase it by 10 times to 4,500 square meters.
“The daily cargo business from the facility in the Raipur airport is to the tune of 15 metric tonne, and after increasing the area of the cargo facility, our plan is to increase the business to 50 metric tonne per day,” he added.
“Our effort is to increase the aviation facilities in Chhattisgarh because in the coming days, the civil aviation sector will be the backbone of transportation in the entire country. But the kind of support and work the state government has to extend, we are facing disappointment on that front,” Scindia said.
He said the Chhattisgarh government is yet to hand over 24 acres of land to the Raipur airport to increase the length of the runway.
“We have increased the length of the runway from 2,300 meters to 3,105 meters but the infrastructure that needs to be built around it could not come up due to non-allocation of the land. The situation is the same in the Bilaspur airport (also in Chhattisgarh). The state government has cancelled the transfer of land to the Airport Authority of India. How can we ensure progress until the land is not transferred to the AAI,” he asked.
Mr Scindia also accused the Baghel government of creating similar hurdles.
“I have tried to speak to the Chief Minister (Baghel) several times but I think he doesn’t have any interest in civil aviation,” he alleged.
Describing the Narendra Modi government as “progressive, proactive and pro-people”, the union minister also highlighted provisions made for housing, portable water, farmers and other welfare schemes in the Union budget 2022-23.
He also explained how Chhattisgarh will benefit from the provisions made in the budget.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)