Union minister Nitin Gadkari on Saturday (February 25) exuded confidence that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) would retain power at the Centre and in Maharashtra in polls next year on the basis of development work done since 2014.
Speaking at the ABP Network’s ‘Ideas of India Summit’ in Mumbai, Gadkari, who is the Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, also said the NDA government had instilled a sense of confidence in the people through its development work and good governance.
“We will win and once again the BJP and NDA will form the government in both Maharashtra and at the Centre. The good work done by Prime Minister Narendra Modi will yield good results,” Gadkari said.
Also read: In 2024 Lok Sabha polls, PM Modi will break all records: Maha CM Shinde
The performance audit is more important than the financial audit, he said, adding the (five-year) performance (of elected representatives) is reviewed by the public at the time of polls.
“Our performance is our strength and this is what people expect from us as well. We have instilled confidence in people through our good work, which we will take to them,” Gadkari said.
Asserting his party keeps a very “positive attitude” and that whatever work it has done on the basis of opportunities provided to it, the Union minister said “the performance rating card of our party, our leadership and our ministers is definitely very important”.
“I can say with confidence the work that has been done in the last (more than) eight years under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi is far more when compared with 60 years of Congress rule,” Gadkari said.
Also read: Nitin Gadkari wants transport sector decarbonised
On the growth of green transport, the minister said, “Hydrogen is our future fuel and India’s future vehicles will run on hydrogen and green fuels.”
Though his ministry never spoke about electric vehicle (EV) targets for the year 2030, Gadkari said, in the coming years, India will certainly shift to electric vehicles.
“We import ₹16 lakh crore worth of fossil fuel every year but pretty soon our farmers will produce green fuel and green hydrogen,” he said, adding that Lithium-ion batteries will lead the shift from petrol and diesel-driven cars.
Reiterating that Lithium-ion battery costs will come down in the next year or so, the minister said India will soon become a net exporter of Lithium and become a major global player.
Expressing satisfaction at the development of highways in the country, Gadkari said, “In the coming years, public transport will be revolutionised in the country and the new highways will bring down travel time between key cities drastically.
He, however, said his ministry and the government had failed to curb the accident rate on Indian roads.
“We wanted to reduce road accidents by 50 per cent by 2024 but we are not going to achieve it,” he said.
For this, he said, human behaviour has to change as people were still not following rules of red lights, car seat belts, or two-wheeler helmets.
Gadkari sought the introduction of road safety education at the primary level to make Indians aware of this at a young age.