Allahabad: Union minister Nitin Gadkari launched a veiled attack on the ruling Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh, claiming that the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre believed in development for all, "unlike the situation in the state where caste is supreme".
"Our government is working with the motto -- 'sabka saath, sabka vikas' -- as articulated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This is reflected on the government's stress on development and the non-discrimination in grant of funds," Gadkari said here while inaugurating a number of projects which included highways and a bridge over the river Ganga.
Without naming the Samajwadi Party or any of its top leaders, Gadkari said, "Our approach has been quite unlike what we get to see in the state of UP. Here caste is supreme. It trumps every other issue."
The former BJP president's remarks come against the backdrop of frantic efforts by Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav to project a pro-development image even as his party faces allegations of nepotism, patronage to criminals and preferential treatment to members of a particular caste.
Gadkari, who holds the Road Transport and Highways and Shipping portfolios, also said, "Work is taking place at an unprecedented speed and since there is no corruption, there is no quality on compromise as well. We have no hesitation in saying that the roads that are being built now will remain free of potholes for 200 years."
During his brief visit, the minister laid the foundation stones for widening of two highways -- one connecting the city with the neighboring state of Madhya Pradesh and the other with the adjoining district of Pratapgarh.
Both these projects will involve a cost of more than Rs 1,200 crore.
Gadkari also laid the foundation stone for a six-lane bridge which will be built over the river Ganga at a cost of Rs 1,800 crore.
"All these projects would be completed before the the mega religious congregation Ardh Kumbh which will be held at the holy Sangam here in 2019," Gadkari said.