On Sunday, Trinamool Congress leader, Abhishek Banerjee slammed Narendra Modi-led Central government for approving a Rs 20,000-crore Central Vista renovation project in New Delhi, instead of providing protection gear to the medical staff, and food to thousands starving of hunger. He criticised the government’s priority list, where the battling onslaught of COVID-19 pandemic doesn’t seem to be on the top. The renovation project has been initiated to revamp the look of the 3-km stretch of Rajpath, besides constructing a new Parliament building, with a common Central Secretariat.
Mr Banerjee, MP from Diamond Harbour in south Bengal and also the nephew of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, took to Twitter to hit out at the government’s irresponsible handling of taxpayers money, used to renovate “Lutyens’ Delhi”.
His tweet read, “The Centre is splurging ₹20,000 Cr of the taxpayer’s money to renovate Lutyens’ Delhi. For the same amount at ₹30 per meal, they could have fed 2 meals a day to 1.85 Cr Indians for the next 6 months. The only explanation is that they want to stay isolated in renovated chambers!”
Besides Mr Banerjee, several lawmakers opposed the government’s move to divert a mass sum of money toward renovation when the nation is undergoing a major health crisis, probably the worst in decades.
Sukhendu Sekhar Roy, another MP from TMC camp, spoke against the government’s handling of the deadly contagion which has killed millions all across the globe. He suggested that the BJP-ruling central government should put the renovation on hold and instead use that money for the betterment of ones struggling to make ends meet during the lockdown.
India has been witnessing one of the lengthiest and sternest lockdown in the world, which may even see as an abuse of power and dangerous increase in the hold of centre over the states.
On Friday, Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi urged the country’s apex court to consider the petitions against the project. On April 30, the Supreme court, in its ruling refused to pay any heed to pleas against the project, explaining that it did not feel to the project needed to be halted due to the pandemic.
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