Telangana minister counters PM Modi’s remarks on free bus for women scheme

Hyderabad Desk

Hyderabad: Responding to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent remarks in opposition to the free bus for women scheme in Telangana and several other states, state transport minister Ponnam Prabhakar said that some states are implementing the scheme to support the financial growth of women and the PM is “unable to digest” it.

He also rejected the link that the PM made between the state transport body buses and the metro.

“Metro sector is different. We are requesting even now to increase the number of bogies on the Hyderabad metro. Is the PM making such remarks to gain politically?” he asked.

The transport minister further remarked that the state government is making sure that women do not face any struggle in the process of benefitting from the free bus scheme.

“We will increase the number of routes and add more buses to the fleet. Our efforts to provide more facilities will continue. It is not right of the PM to talk as if the free bus scheme is a loss-making initiative. He must not lower the stature of his office by making comments on such trivial matters.

PM Modi’s remarks

In a recent interview with the India Today group, PM Modi said, “You build a metro in a city and then for the sake of winning an election, you announce free bus travel to women scheme. It means that you have taken fifty per cent of metro travellers away from the metro. So, the metro will not be viable. So would a metro project come up in the future? This is the point. But nobody discusses it. We go into a political back and forth. I don’t want to get into that. I will make a concrete discussion. Due to this, challenges to traffic and environment will take place….and you also emptied the metro. How will the metro go forward? How will the country move forward?” he asked.

(This is a developing story. The latest version will be updated)

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