Launching a 12-km stretch of Delhi Metro’s newly built Magenta Line, Prime Minister Narendra Modi strongly pitched for use of public transport and took potshots at previous Chief Ministers of Uttar Pradesh for not visiting Noida due to superstition.Flagging the importance of connectivity, the PM said on Monday that the Metro line is not only for the present but also for future generations, and emphasised the need to reduce petrol imports by increasing the use of state-of-the-art mass transit systems.Modi did not name either SP’s Akhilesh Yadav or BSP’s Mayawati but lauded UP CM Yogi Adityanath for breaking the Noida jinx. “Due to his dress, some people find it fashionable to believe that CM Yogi Adityanath is not ‘modern enough’ but what he has done today is something which was never done by any of the previous CMs of Uttar Pradesh. Faith is important but blind faith is not desirable,” the Prime Minster said.Adityanath, sharing the dais with the Prime Minister, was all smiles as the latter praised him.Modi also slammed previous Chief Ministers for their “corrupt” activities and alleged they were only “spreading superstition” about political leaders losing power if they visited Noida.”If anybody thinks not going to a place will prolong their CM tenure and visiting a place will curtail it, such a person does not deserve to be a Chief Minister. Unfortunately, there were superstitions associated with Noida and in his own style, Yogi Adityanath has risen above it,” he said.Adityanath’s chief ministerial visits to Noida came eight years after the last by then CM Mayawati. Before the 2012 UP polls, she had visited Noida and the BSP had lost. Her successor Akhilesh Yadav never visited Noida and skipped inaugurating a key development project’s inauguration just before the Assembly polls in UP early this year. Samajwadi Party, however, lost the elections.The Prime Minister recalled that when he became the Chief Minister of Gujarat, people told him about a few inauspicious places, but he was clear that he would go there in the first year itself.”Driven by blind faith and superstition, leaders never went to places for decades. How unfortunate is that,” Modi said, reminding that he remained Chief Minister for four terms in Gujarat.Pitching for use of public transport to save on fuel and petroleum import costs, the Prime Minister said travelling on a Metro train should be a “prestige” issue.Lamenting that development is seen through the prism of politics based on the interest of parties many times, the Prime Minister said governance cannot happen when the dominant thought process begins at ‘Mera Kya’ and ends at ‘Mujhe Kya.'”We have changed these mindsets. For us, decisions are about national interest and not political gains,” he said. Countering the allegations of Opposition parties that his government was not working for the poor, Modi said, “the top ten industrialists would not travel on Metro. You will”.Terming NDA’s first Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee the ‘Bharat Marg Vidhata, the Prime Minister said that it was on December 24 in 2002 when he took a ride on Metro and since then, the Metro network in NCR has expanded considerably.He said that the work on railway infrastructure and road network expansion are happening at a historic pace under the NDA government, and that the country is making strides in the renewable energy sector.
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