Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday slammed opposition leaders over their disrespectful comments against the Vande Bharat Express, popularly known as Train 18, terming it as an "insult" to engineers and technicians.
Responding to comments by Congress President Rahul Gandhi against the Vande Bharat Express on the incident when it stopped due to some problem hours after its inaugural run, on its return journey from Varanasi to Delhi on Saturday, PM Modi said that it is unfortunate that people insult engineers and technicians.
"Some persons targeting and mocking at semi-high speed train. This is unfortunate. This is an insult to engineers and technicians involved in the project. People should remain alert against such persons who are insulting engineers and technicians and mocking the country," the PM said while addressing a public rally.
He asked the people not to get "demoralised by those surrounded by negativity".
"I salute engineering professionals, who will in future make a bullet train in India and run it also...I am getting letter of people who are hurt", the PM said asking them, "Whether it is right to insult engineers and technicians? Is mocking them right. Can they be pardoned? Should they not be given right punishment at the right time."
The Congress President has taken to Twitter and attacked the Make in India campaign after the Vande Bharat Express suffered some problesm on its maiden return journey on February 16.
"Modi ji, I think Make in India needs a serious rethink. Most people feel it has failed. I assure you we in the Congress are thinking very deeply about how it will be done," Gandhi had said in his tweet.
Railway Minister Piyush Goyal had also hit out at the Congress president over his derogatory remarks against the Vande Bharat Express. Retaliating to Rahul Gandhi on his remarks against the 'Make in India' campaign and Train 18, Union Minister said that it is shame to attack the hard work of the Indian technicians and labourers.
Train 18 has been manufactured by the Integral Coach Factory, Chennai, was flagged off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 15. It became India's fastest train by hitting speeds of over 180 kmph during a trial run on a section of the Delhi-Mumbai Rajdhani route.
(With agency inputs)