Sindhia behind Bangalore metro rail delay: Kharge

Special Correspondent

BANGALORE: The Congress on Monday blamed its coalition partner in Karnataka, the Janata Dal (Secular), for the delay in obtaining clearance from the Union Government for the proposed Bangalore metro rail project.

Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president M. Mallikarjun Kharge, who is also the Minister for Water Resources, has held Minister for Industries and Finance and Janata Dal (S) leader P.G.R. Sindhia responsible for the delay.

Presiding over a function to mark the birth anniversary of Jawaharlal Nehru at the Congress Bhavan here, Mr. Kharge claimed that the Centre sent a Cabinet note to the State Government seeking its opinion on various components of the metro rail project. But Mr. Sindhia has not brought the note before the Cabinet for discussion. Although Mr. Sindhia is not against the project, he has expressed reservations over it, Mr. Kharge said.

Mr. Kharge said Mr. Sindhia must explain to the Centre the State Government's stand on the project. The Congress is in favour of implementing the project and wants the Cabinet to discuss it, he added.

President of the Janata Dal (S) and former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda has opposed the metro rail as, according to him, it will put a huge burden on the State exchequer.

Mr. Kharge requested Mr. Deve Gowda not to criticise the economic policies of the United Progressive Alliance Government at the Centre.

He said Congress leaders show restraint when they speak about comments by Janata Dal (S) leaders. "They should not consider our tolerance as weakness." The Congress is ready to face elections to the Legislative Assembly at any time, he said.

Nehru hailed

Earlier, Mr. Kharge recalled the contribution of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru to the Non-Alignment Movement, setting up of public sector enterprises and formulation of Five-Year Plans. He said many Congress workers and leaders are unaware of the contributions of party leaders, including Pandit Nehru.

A four-day training programme will be organised for block-level office-bearers of the party to make them aware of achievements of former Prime Ministers from the party, he added.

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