Union Minister of Railways Piyush Goyal on Sunday hit back at Congress President Rahul Gandhi for his criticism of the Bharatiya Janata Party government’s “Make in India” policy after the Vande Bharat Express broke down twice in its first journey.
Gandhi, while citing a news report about the snag on the Vande Bharat Express tweeted on Saturday: “Modi ji, I think Make in India needs a serious rethink. Most people feel it has failed. I assure you we in the Congress are thinking very deeply about how it will be done.”
Vande Bharat Express is an indigenously-manufactured semi-high speed engine-less train. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had flagged off the train from the New Delhi Railway Station on Friday. The train was returning from Varanasi when it broke down, reportedly because of cattle.
On it first commercial run from Delhi to Varanasi, the Vande Bharat Express arrived at its destination an hour and 25 minutes late on Sunday because of fog, Hindustan Times reported.
Goyal, while responding to Gandhi’s remarks, said the Congress chief had “insulted India’s intelligence and hard work by mocking Make in India”. “He [Gandhi] insulted the hardworking engineers of Railways who have put in backbreaking effort to build India’s first indigenous semi-high speed train, the Vande Bharat Express,” Goyal said.
Goyal said the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government had promised to set up a coach factory in Rae Bareli. “It is a live example of how the Congress makes empty promises, has a poor work ethic and wastes national resources,” he said.
Goyal said the Vande Bharat Express was developed and designed in India, unlike earlier designs that were imported. Goyal said development has become a “people’s movement” under the BJP government and urged Gandhi to join the movement.