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Hardeep Singh Puri Targets Congress Over “Hypocrisy” On Central Vista Project

Singh said the party’s discourse is “bizarre” as its leaders themselves had supported the idea when the UPA was in power.

Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri slammed the Congress party on Friday for attacking the government over its Central Vista redevelopment project. Singh said the party’s discourse is “bizarre” as its leaders themselves had supported the idea when the UPA was in power.

The civil aviation ministers response came hours after Congress leader Rahul Gandhi criticised the Narendra Modi government for executing the project, terming it a “criminal wastage”, and asked it to focus on people’s lives during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Congress’s discourse on Central Vista is bizarre. Cost of Central Vista is about ₹ 20,000 crore, over several years. GoI has allocated nearly twice that amount for vaccination! India’s healthcare budget for just this year was over ₹ 3 lakh crore. We know our priorities,” Mr Puri tweeted.

The Union housing and urban affairs minister, in a series of tweets, said the Central Vista is not a new project and alleged that during the UPA government, Congress leaders had written about the need for a new parliament. It should be noted that Mr Singh’s ministry is responsible for executing the government’s ambitious project.

“Congress doesn’t stop at hypocrisy. Look at their shameful double face. During UPA, Congress leaders wrote about the need for a new parliament. The Speaker in 2012 wrote a letter to Urban Development Ministry for the same. And now they have the gall to oppose the same project?” he said.

“They want to distract people from monumental governance failures in their states by spreading lies. So they indulge in cheap politics despite knowing this project creates direct & indirect employment for thousands of skilled, semi-skilled & unskilled workers in these times,” he added.

The BJP leader also accused the Congress and its allies of splurging on reconstructing an MLA hostel in Maharashtra and building a new Legislative Assembly building in Chhattisgarh, adding that “If this is fine, what is the problem with Central Vista?”

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, earlier in the day, alleged in a tweet: “Central Vista is criminal wastage. Put people’s lives at the centre- not your blind arrogance to get a new house!”

Mr Puri said there are hundreds of projects being executed by various departments and added that governance has not come to a standstill, unlike the Congress’s times of policy paralysis.

“…Central Vista is just another ongoing project. It’s only the Congress that’s obsessed about it, nobody else.” Mr Puri said.

Mr Puri, in another tweet, said only projects for new Parliament building and rejuvenation of Central Vista Avenue have been awarded at an estimated cost of ₹ 862 crore and ₹ 477 crore respectively till now.

He also said there are many components in Central Vista project which are spread over several years.

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