Launching a scathing attack on the Congress party for 'hoodwinking' people , Prime minister Narendra Modi today said that the party just laid foundation stones for projects and did nothing for the poor.
The prime minister said this after inaugurating Rs 43,129 crore Barmer oil refinery project in the state .The project will be completed by 2022.
Once completed, the project is expected to bring Rs 34,000 crore to the state government coffers annually.
It will have the capacity to refine 90 lakh crude oil annually. The refinery is a joint venture between Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited and Rajasthan government.
Speaking at the function, PM Modi said drought and Congress walk hand-in-hand and the state saw end of drought when the party was shown the door.
"Congress aur aakaal (drought) judwa bhai hain, jahan Congress jayegi wahan aakaal jayega", PM Modi said.
Touching on the slugfest between ruling BJP and Congress over credit for the refinery, he said the Congress had only laid foundation stones for projects across the country to claim credit.
"We cannot misled people by installing stones. As in 2022 we complete 75 years of independence, we will ensure that our refinery starts functioning in the same year," Modi said.
He took a dig at Congress saying: "We don't want people to come and ask us that after installing the stone why you did not take action on implementing the same."
Railway lines were announced just to claim short term popularity with projects never ever seeing the light, he said. Congress, he said, had “hoodwinked” people by making just announcements.
Modi said the Congress had seen his commitment to one- rank-one-pension scheme for defence personnel and provided for Rs 500 crore in the interim budget just before the 2014 general elections to claim credit.
“Barmer refinery was at least on papers, OROP wasn’t even on paper,” he said, adding that no ground work on the beneficiaries or on the outgo was ever done. It took one-and-half-years to collate the list of beneficiaries of OROP and the implementation cost Rs 12,000 crore as against Rs 500 crore provided by the Congress, he said.
Of this, four instalments totalling Rs 10,700 crore have already been made to defence personnel and the rest would also be paid soon, he said.
He said while the Congress just gave the slogan of ‘garibi hatao’ (remove poverty), the BJP government has worked towards doing so by way of providing free cooking gas (LPG) connection to poor women and giving free power connection to the four crore households that still do not have electricity. Ahead of the event, ruling BJP and opposition Congress slugged it out to get credit for the refinery.
Hitting hard on Congress on the issue of inaugurating the Rajasthan refinery twice, Vasundhara Raje Scindia said: "We don't believe in installing stones, but we believe in working hard to build a building. we work to turn our efforts into reality,"
Congress says its then president Sonia Gandhi had laid foundation stone of the refinery on September 22, 2013 and Modi was “re-laying” the foundation stone. But both Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and Chief Minister Vasundhra Raje said that foundation laying was a political stunt done days before the model code of conduct for assembly elections came into force on September 27, 2013. Neither the land was acquired for the project nor the environment clearance obtained for the foundation laying, they said.
Today’s function came weeks before by-polls for Alwar and Ajmer Lok Sabha, and Mandalgarh Assembly seats in Rajasthan on January 29. The state goes to polls later this year.
(With agency inputs)