"Too Little, Too Late," 3,01,750 posts vacant in railways: Kharge a day after Modi–Gehlot face-off

Prime Minister Narendra Modi criticised past governments' contribution to the railway sector at the launch of Vande Bharat Express in Jaipur, in the presence of Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot

Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge
Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge

NH Political Bureau

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge clapped back at the BJP-led Centre a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot took swipes at each other at the Vande Bharat Express train inauguration.

Kharge on Thursday tweeted in Hindi: "Modi ji is again distributing 'recruitment letters' in the name of employment. In the event [Vande Bharat Express Train launch], 50,000 letters are from the Ministry of Railways only. There are 3,01,750 vacancies in Railways. 30 lakh posts are vacant in government ministries. 'Too Little, Too Late' — this stunt fits perfectly in the tenth year of the the Modi government."

Shortly after referring to Gehlot as his "friend" and thanking him for attending the launch event despite ongoing political contentions on Wednesday, PM Modi during his speech scrutinised past governments by claiming that “political interests had dominated the need for modernisation when it comes to the railway sector”.

"Politics was evident in the selection of railway minister, announcement of trains and even in recruitment. Land acquisition was done under the false pretence of railway jobs, many unmanned crossings continued for a very long time, and cleanliness and safety took a back seat," Modi said.

Gehlot hit back by asserting in a statement that "without economic liberalisation under then Union Finance Minister Manmohan Singh in 1991, the modern train would not be running in India today."

"I am sorry that today, in my presence, you have termed the decisions of railway ministers prior to 2014… as motivated by corruption and political selfishness," the Rajasthan CM tweeted later.

The Congress has claimed that Modi's speech criticising past governments was completely aimed at the 2024 General Elections and the launch of the first Vande Bharat Express train was used for "furthering their poll agenda".

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