New Delhi: “No there is no chance. I am happy where I am right now”, said Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari while responding to a question on probability of him becoming the Prime Ministerial candidate face in the 2019 elections, replacing Prime Minister Narendra Modi. According to media reports, the head of a government organisation in Maharashtra has written to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), demanding Gadkari be allowed to lead the Bharatiya Janata Party if it wants to win the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
In an interview Gadkari said, “No there is no chance. I am happy where I am right now. I have to complete Ganga work first, building of Express Highway Access Control in 13-14 countries and I also want to make roads for Chaar Dhams and other works. I am happy doing these works and want to complete it.” Meanwhile, talking about the development projects in the Northeast, the senior BJP leader, who was coming from Arunachal Pradesh after inaugurating and laying foundation stones for national highways projects worth Rs 9,533 crore in the state, accused the previous government of ignoring the northeast in terms of development.
He said, “A project of Rs 4000 crore for constructing 400 km road is underway. Arunachal is a large area but it has less population even international border is attached to it. Due to the lack of road, there is poverty and unemployment. But once the roads are constructed, it will bring jobs here.” “The forest-based industry could come here if roads were made. I believe in Northeast the previous governments have not worked well. But when the Modi government came into power, we decided to give northeast the first priority,” he added.
He further said that the upcoming development projects in the northeast will completely change the image of the Northeastern region. “Road, Railway and Aviation sectors have been improved in the northeast since last 4.5 years. The development work worth Rs 2.50 lakh crore is presently underway in the northeast. The upcoming development in the northeast will completely change the image of the region. Our dream is to make northeast a prosperous and enriched part of our country,” he said.
The Union Minister further highlighted his Ministry’s plan of developing the waterways. He said, “We are building six bridges on Brahmaputra River. We are also focusing on developing the waterways like making five-star and seven-star cruise.” He also expressed his concern over the road safety in the country. “We are making an express highway from Mumbai to Delhi at cost of Rs one lakh crore. I believe when it comes to the road sector, the image of our country in the last five years has changed. In coming days, our priority will be road safety,” he added. Yesterday, the Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways inaugurated and laid the foundation stone for several national highway projects at Roing in Lower Dibang Valley District of Arunachal Pradesh. The Minister also inaugurated two bridges over the Lohit and Dibang River.