Congress seeks to turn tables on BJP over Setu Samudram

Congress seeks to turn tables on BJP over Setu Samudram

New Delhi: In an effort to turn the tables on the BJP over Setu Samudram, the Congress today criticised it for its “double speak" on the issue, saying it was the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) , headed by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), that had conceived the project and decided to go ahead with it.

A pamphlet distributed at the one-day AICC session here said the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had on 29 October, 2001 announced the decision to undertake the Setu Samudram project.

“Even before making this announcement, the Vajpayee government had made a provision of Rs4.80 crore in its budget for the fiscal year 2000-2001," it said.

It claimed that BJP leader Arun Jaitley in his capacity as the Transport Minister had directed the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) to prepare a techno-economic feasibility report for the project.

The party asked whether it was not true that the NEERI had informed Vijay Goyal, the then Transport Minister in the Vajpayee government, that the canal for the project shall pass through the old bridge and he did not register any protest then.

It also asked the NDA whether it had not promised in its manifesto that the project would be completed.

A pamphlet on the nuclear issue was also distributed at the AICC session that sought to steal the thunder from under the BJP’s wings over the 1998 nuclear tests, saying it was made possible only because of the commitment of successive Congress governments to develop credible minimum nuclear deterrent to safeguard national security and retain strategic autonomy.