In an unexpected move, Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot as a friend and thanked him for attending the flag-off ceremony of Rajasthan’s first Vande Bharat Express train between Delhi and Ajmer despite the fact that he is embroiled in political turmoil in the state.
PM Modi said while flagging off the Vande Bharat train, “I express my special gratitude to Gehlot ji. During these days of political struggle when he is going through several crises, he took out the time for development work and participated in a railway programme. I welcome him.”
Senior Congress leader Sachin Pilot fasted for a day in Jaipur on Tuesday, criticising the Gehlot government for “inaction” in alleged corruption cases against the previous BJP government. Modi said after the train launch that Gehlot’s trust in him strengthens their “friendship.” “I appreciate your faith in this friendship,” Modi said to Gehlot.
“And I want to say Gehlot ji that you have laddoos in both your hands… the railway minister is from Rajasthan, and the chairman of the Railway Board is also from Rajasthan,” the prime minister said, referring to the railway minister and the chairman of the Railway Board both being from Rajasthan. Modi has “praised” Gehlot for the second time in five months.