NCP Chief Sharad Pawar: Don't spend a bomb on bullet train, improve network

Oct 04, 2017, 13:48 IST | Dharmendra Jore

NCP chief Sharad Pawar slams government and its 'sad state of affairs', tells party workers to exploit growing anti-government sentiment ahead of polls

The bullet train isn't feasible and of no benefit to Maharashtra; it's planned for Japan's gain, where the national economy is gloomy. This is what NCP chief Sharad Pawar said on Tuesday, coming down heavily on the BJP government, and in the same breath, asking his rank and file to get working for the forthcoming polls.

NCP chief Sharad Pawar criticised the government yesterday. File pic
NCP chief Sharad Pawar criticised the government yesterday. File pic

Raising the Elphinstone stampede and overall situation in Mumbai and its metropolitan region, Pawar said the government should focus more on improving the existing network rather than spending "a bomb" on projects like the bullet train.

Also read - Raj Thackeray: I won't allow a single brick to be laid for Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train

'Time to tame BJP'
"I don't know why they are doing it. A state like Maharashtra can't afford this," he said, asking the BJP why Maharashra was being forced to share a huge cost when Gujarat would have more length of bullet train track passing through its territory.

"Our government will put in money equal to Gujarat's share. Why? The one who benefits the most should invest more," Pawar said during a media conference.

Also read - Bullet train project will be demonetisation-like move: Chidambaram

He added that the NCP had been following up with the railways for bettering infrastructure but in vain. "Had they acted in time, the tragedy wouldn't have happened. This is a sad state of affairs."

Pawar said the time had come to "tame the BJP", which was out to "kill freedom of expression". "The BJP started using social media and benefitted from it. But now that it's getting it back (on social media), it is using power to scare people who criticise government policies. The same party (BJP) advocated the need for freedom of expression (when it was not in power)," he said.

'Work for early polls'
Earlier, he had told the party executives to get their acts together because the government was planning to club Assembly elections with Lok Sabha polls in BJP-ruled states. "Public opinion is changing fast. People have started disliking the BJP government. It is time we started working," he said.

Also read - Mumbai: Bullet train is a virtually free project, says CM Devendra Fadnavis

Pawar slammed the ruling party for its wrong polices in dealing with the agrarian crisis and farm loan waiver. "Nobody is happy. The eligibility for seeking loan waiver is anti-farmer. The entire scheme is dubious. We need to expose the BJP," he told leaders.

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