Narendra Modi, INDIA, Opposition alliance

Modi slams Oppn's Bengaluru meet, says ‘for them family is first, nation nothing’

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Launching a scathing attack on opposition parties on a day 26 of them have gathered for a joint conclave in Bengaluru, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday (July 18) alleged that their mantra is “of, by, and for the family”.

Virtually inaugurating the new integrated terminal building of the Veer Savarkar Airport in Port Blair, he said that the facility would boost tourism and strengthen the economy of the archipelago.

Taking a dig at the opposition meeting in Bengaluru, he said, “People are saying that this gathering is to promote corruption. The opposition parties have given a clean chit to the DMK despite corruption cases in Tamil Nadu. The Left and the Congress are also mum on panchayat poll violence in West Bengal despite attacks on their cadre.”

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“They (opposition parties) are not concerned about the development of the children of the country’s poor. Their common minimum programme is to increase corruption for their family. Democracy means of the people, by the people, for the people. But these dynastic parties have the mantra of ‘of the family, by the family, for the family’. For them, their family is first, and the nation is nothing,” he said.

‘Tourist inflows to Andaman and Nicobar islands have doubled since 2014’

Modi claimed that tourist inflows to Andaman and Nicobar Islands have doubled since 2014 and will increase multiple times in the coming years due to the development of infrastructure in the archipelago.

“We brought submarine optical cable fibre to the islands and built a medical college in Port Blair. Our government allotted ₹48,000 crore for the development of the archipelago in the last nine years. This is double of what was spent by the previous government,” he said.

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“The tricolour was unfurled in Andaman and Nicobar Islands (in 1943) even before it was hoisted at Red Fort after India got Independence. But there were still signs of slavery. We removed those by renaming several islands to honour our freedom struggle,” he added.

Earlier in the day, Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia, who reached the airport, unveiled a statue of VD Savarkar on the premises and took a tour of the establishment.

He was accompanied by Union Minister of State for Road, Transport and Highways and Civil Aviation, General (Retd.) VK Singh.

New terminal building can handle 40 lakh passengers annually

The building is shaped like a shell, depicting the natural environs of the islands.

The entire terminal will have 100 per cent natural lighting for 12 hours a day which will be achieved through skylights on the roof.

Due to a surge in passenger traffic, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) constructed the NITB at an estimated cost of ₹707.73 crores.

Also read: Indian airports set for revamp as aviation takes off post COVID

With a total built-up area of 40,837 sq metres, the new terminal building will have the capacity to handle 1,200 passengers during peak hours and around 40 lakh passengers annually.

The three-storey building will be equipped with 28 check-in counters, three passenger boarding bridges, and four conveyor belts.

(With inputs from agencies)

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