Varanasi: Arriving in his constituency for the fifth time, Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off the Mahamana Superfast Express from Dreka ground today.
The train is named after Mahamana Madan Mohan Malviya, the founder of the Banaras Hindu University (BHU). Touring to and fro Varanasi and Delhi via Lucknow covering a distance of 800km in not more than 14 hours, the train will function thrice a week.
The train is fully equipped with the modern facilities with dustbins and bio-toilets in every coach fitted with led screen.
The ‘twitter’ handle of Northern Railways was seen covering the arrival of the PM for inauguration of the train:
The PM will also be visiting Lucknow to address the sixth convocation of the Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University. Homage to Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar at the Ambedkar Mahasabha will also be paid by him.
“The prime minister will arrive in Varanasi to attend Divyangjan Sashaktikaran Samaroh — a program for the distribution of aids and devices for the differently-abled people,” a press release said.
In Lucknow, he will also distribute e-rickshaws at a function to be organised by microfinance institution Bharatiya Micro Credit.
The last tour, on December 12 last, was marked by Modi witnessing the famous Ganga Arti on the banks of the holy river, accompanied by the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. (IANS) (picture courtesy: newindianexpress.com)
The deal is getting into controversies because of the allegations de by the opposition, especially Congress
Prime Minister Narendra Modi in April 2015 made the announcement that India will buy 36 French-manufactured Rafale fighter jets from Dassault, a French aircraft builder and integrator. This came to be known as Rafale Deal.
The Rafale deal of 36 Rafale aircrafts between India and France was called a “win-win partnership” for both the countries.
But recently it has come under attack of the Opposition, mainly the Indian National Congress, which has alleged that there have been irregularities in this deal and its proceedings. However, the government has denied and rejected all the charges.
The Rafale Deal is nothing new and was also signed during the time of UPA government. The first time it came to light was during the government of Atal Bihari Vajpayee where the original proposal was to buy 126 fighter jets.
After tests and negotiations in 2012, Rafale was considered L-1 bidder and negotiations started which only came to a conclusion as the Rafale Deal in 2015 under Prime Minister Modi’s government.
Now the UPA alleging irregularities on NDA government doesn’t seem fair to many because no deal took place under their government. The transfer of technology was a primary issue of concern between the two sides. Dassault Aviation also tried to deny to take the responsibility of quality control of the production of 108 aircraft in India. The Dassault provided for 3 crore man-hours for production of the Rafale jets in India, HAL’s estimate was approximately 3 times higher which resulted in an escalation of costs in the manifold.
Prime Minister Modi’s visit to France in 2015 helped bring this deal to a final conclusion. The government-to-government deal of 36 jets was to completed as soon as possible.
On costs of the Rafale Deal, NDA government has said that it got better terms than those quoted in the original bid under the UPA government. The total savings are reported to be of more than 1600 million Euros. However, the cost breakdown of Rafale Deal in the original bid under UPA government and in the 36 aircraft in the NDA’s government-to-government deal is not available for the public domain.
Under the current agreement, the Rafale Deals support the ‘Make In India’ initiative of the Indian Government through the IGA’s Article 12. It states that France will facilitate the implementation of ‘Make In India’. These critical design technologies were already discussed between the two governments in previous meetings. The present Rafale Deal is signed between two sovereign governments and there is no private individual, firm or entity involved in the process from the side of India. The procurement process also does not include any private company or firm from India.