Govt. approval on Central Vista Project

ALL INDIA CONGRESS COMMITTEE

24, AKBAR ROAD, NEW DELHI

COMMUNICATION DEPARTMENT

Highlights of Press Briefing       01 May, 2020

Dr. Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Spokesperson, AICC addressed media today.

डॉ. अभिषेक मनु सिंघवी ने पत्रकारों को संबोधित करते हुए कहा कि आपसे बातचीत करने के दौरान 23 तारीख अप्रैल के मिनट (minutes -विवरण) सार्वजनिक रुप से मालूम पड़े, जो सेंट्रल विस्टा के विषय में आए हैं। हमारा कांग्रेस पार्टी की तरफ से, देश का आपके जरिए, सरकार से बड़ा सरल प्रश्न है, सरकार से देश का प्रश्न है कि जब पूरा देश पैंडेमिक मोड में है तो क्यों ये सरकार कंस्ट्रक्शन रेनोवेशन मोड़ में चली गई और ये कंस्ट्रक्शन रेनोवेशन मोड किस चीज का है? आप इस मुगालते और इस भ्रम में ना रहें कि ये पार्लियामेंट मोडर्निज़ेशन जिस वाक्य का इस्तेमाल किया जा रहा है, दुरुपयोग किया जा रहा है, वो हो रहा है। ये है संसद, नोर्थ ब्लॉक, साउथ ब्लॉक को हटाकर नया बनाना, माननीय प्रधानमंत्री जी का नया घर बनाना, सैंकड़ों नए ऑफिसिस बनाना, अधिकतर संख्या इसमें से उस हरियाली जगह पर जिसके बारे में हम और आप गर्व महसूस करते हैं, इतनी बड़ी हरियाली जगह, राजपथ पर है दोनों तरफ, इसके लिए इस दौरान, पैंडेमिक के दौरान 23 अप्रैल को एक अर्जेंट मीटिंग बुलाई गई है और उसमें लिखा है कि यद्दपि कई लोग, कई वरिष्ठ लोग भी नहीं आ सकते है, लेकिन फिर भी ये आवश्यक है, जल्दी है, इसलिए की है।

आपको मालूम है कि याचिका उच्चतम न्यायालय में लंबित है, हमारा सीधा आरोप है कि जानबूझ कर ये प्रयत्न किया जा रहा है, उस याचिका को, देश की जवाबदेही को, हर चीज को निरर्थक कर दिया जाए, नकार कर दिया जाए, जिसको अंग्रेजी में और कानून में इन्फ्रक्चुअस (infructuous) कहा जाता है, वो कर दिया जाए। बाद में कुछ भी हो, जो अब हो गया है, वो वापस मिट नहीं सकता, रिवर्सेबल नहीं होता है। ये प्रयत्न किया जा रहा है देश की नाक के नीचे और वो कब – वो जब जबकि सिर्फ पैंडेमिक की बात नहीं है, पैंडेमिक के अंदर भी लॉकडाउन एक ऐसा समय होता है, जहाँ पर सेंट्रल विस्टा की मीटिंग करना अपने आप में अद्भुत चीज है। साथ-साथ आपको मालूम है सर्वविदित है कि 20,000 करोड़ न्यूनतम कंजरवेटिव आधार पर इसका खर्चा है, 20 हजार करोड़ !

मैंने आपसे आज प्रवासी वर्ग की बात की, मैंने कहा कि 5,000 करोड़ भी अगर इस वर्ग को मिल जाए, तो बस तो क्या, ट्रेन जिसकी मांग हमने की, हवाई जहाज से वापस इनको ला सकते हैं, ये नहीं मैं कह रहा हूं कि आप इन्हें हवाई जहाज से ले जाईए, मैं आपको बता रहा हूं, एक अनुमान दे रहा हूं। उनके खाने-पीने का जो पिछले 45 दिन में 20 प्रतिशत खर्चा बढ़ गया है, 20 प्रतिशत, 28 पर टमाटर, 15 प्रतिशत पर आलू इत्यादि, मैंने बताया, उसके संदर्भ में मैं आपको बता रहा हूं। इसको अगर आप तुलनात्मक रुप से देखें तो कोरोना के कारण दुष्प्रभाव जो पड़ा है इन्फ्रास्ट्रक्चर पर, उसको ठीक करने के लिए कुल सब कुछ मिलाकर सामूहिक रुप से सरकार ने 15,000 करोड़ रुपए दिए, यानि कोरोना से दुष्प्रभावित इन्फ्रास्ट्रक्चर और यहाँ 20,000 करोड़ के लिए एकदम फास्ट बुलेट ट्रेन की तरह काम चल रहा है, जो कोरोना से कोई संबंध नहीं रखती।
हमारा सीधा प्रश्न ये है कि किसकी छाप के लिए किया जा रहा है? ये मोदी महल किसकी विरासत को स्थापित करने के लिए बनाया जा रहा है? किसकी पहचान अजर, अमर और अमिट करने के लिए किया जा रहा है? हमने एक और उदाहरण दिया था कि महंगे वाले वेंटिलेटर 9 लाख, 8 लाख के और सस्ते वाले 3 लाख के हैं, 3 लाख से 8-9 लाख की रेंज है वेंटिलेटर की। लगभग 15 लाख वेंटिलेटर सस्ते वाले आ सकते हैं इस राशि में। मुझे बोलने की आवश्यकता नहीं है कि कितने और काम हो सकते हैं, कोरोना में 20,000 करोड़ से। देश ये पूछ रहा है कि आप इतिहास क्यों वापस लिखना चाहते हैं? क्या हर चीज जो एतिहासिक है, पुरानी है, किसी और समय की है, उसको मिटाना आवश्यक है? क्या इसमें से आप अगर 1,000 करोड़ भी खर्च कर दें, मैं सीधा बोल रहा हूं इसी 20,000 करोड़ में से, 1,000 भी नहीं, 500 करोड़ होगा, तो पार्लियामेंट हमारा चमक सकता है, नोर्थ ब्लॉक, साउथ ब्लॉक अंदर से सबसे आधुनिक हो सकता है। ये शास्त्री भवन, उद्योग भवन और जितने ऐसे भवन हैं, दो किलोमीटर रेंज में वो चमक सकते हैं। इस गति से, इस प्रकार, इस प्रोजेक्ट को प्राथमिकता, अहमियत कैसे दी जा सकती है, क्यों दी जा रही है, ये एक बहुत बड़ा देश के सामने प्रश्न है? कोई उत्तर हमें मिलता नहीं है, जवाब हमें मिलता नहीं है।
इसके अलावा आप जानते हैं प्रदूषण का, ट्रॉफिक कन्ज़र्वेशन का, अवरुद्ध होने का, ओब्स्ट्रक्शन का, दिन प्रतिदिन हैरसमेंट जो होगा, आम आदमी को गाड़ी चलाने में, दो महीने में इतने बड़े प्रोजेक्ट के लिए पूरी टीम का चुनाव करना , पारदर्शिता आपके सामने है, कैसे होती है। ये सब प्रश्न हैं, कम से कम या तो सही घोषित कर दीजिए, आपने घोषित की थी ये कोरोना से पहले, इसमें कोई शर्म नहीं होनी चाहिए, कोरोना के बाद, जब शुरु नहीं हुआ कुछ काम, तभी इसको स्थगित कर दीजिए, रोक दीजिए, कुछ तो करिए, उल्टा उसको और तेजी से आगे बढ़ाने में आप लगें हैं। हम इसकी भर्त्सना करते हैं, इसकी जवाबदेही मांगते हैं, हम पूरी ताकत से इसका विरोध करेंगे।
मैं एक बात और कहना चाहूंगा, अपनी बात को विराम देने से पहले। हमारी मांग है विनम्रता के साथ उच्चतम न्यायालय से कि जल्द से जल्द इसके इन्फ्रक्चुअस होने से पहले, इसकी ऐसी गति पकड़ने से पहले कि उसके बाद इसको बदल नहीं सके, उससे पहले इसका निर्णय करें, इसको ध्यान से देखें और इसको अहमियत दें।

Dr. Abhishek Manu Singhvi said- Friends, I am troubling you again because during the course of our meeting, a few hours earlier, we got hold of this so called minutes of meeting of 23rd April, 2020, it is quite astonishing that these minutes which relate to the so called Central Vista Project. It just shows the whooped, distorted, completely absurd priorities of this Government. Bang in the middle of Corona, they are fast tracking; they are hot footing this project, only Rs 20 thousand crore project. The entire budget for infrastructure strengthening, during, because, of Corona of the Government of India, is 15 thousand crores.
Please don’t be misled or please don’t misunderstand that this is a Parliament modernisation project as is being misleadingly touted around. Parliament modernisation apart, the modernisation of every building in 2 kilometres from North Block, South Block, Udyog Bhawan, Shastri Bhawan, Parliament to glittering new efficient models would cost less than Rs. 500 crores. This Rs. 20 thousand crores project is somebody’s hobby horse. It is not only for a Modi Mahal, which includes a new Prime Minister’s house, it is the intention to leave somehow in a personal manner, your own stamp by littering the whole of the green verdant landscape of Rajpath with new buildings, in the name of offices, in the name of convenience, in the name of modernisation. A more horrible attack on the heart and psyche of Delhi cannot be imagined.
At least at this stage, you had announced this, of course, prior to corona, now that corona is with us, now that the following months, the future months look bleak in terms of economic recovery and economic activity. Now, at least, you should have the grace, the magnanimity, the guts, the candor to announce scrapping of this project. If you are too egotistic, you can at least announce postponement of this project, instead you are doing just opposite; you are clearly attempting to render the Supreme Court’s scrutiny of this infructuous. You are, as I said earlier, hot footing it, and fast tracking it. The figures make us hang our head in shame. A back of the envelope calculation regarding ventilators just to give you a comparative example, this is only for example, cheaper ventilators cost about Rs. 3 lakh, more expensive one’s 8-9 lakhs. So, if you have to buy cheaper ventilators roughly 15 lakh or 14 lakh ventilators could be purchased from this amount probably more. If you were to even fly the migrant labour about which I talked earlier today and I am not suggesting that all these be flown, you have even thought of one train after 45 days. If you fly the lakhs of migrant workers, sweating, dying on the roads, it would cost less than what you are allocating. It is absurd as to why you want to rewrite history. It is absurd as why you want the whole country to forget that there was anything prior to 2014.
We would earnestly, with folded hands, request the Supreme Court to pay immediate attention to this. We would request the Supreme Court to clarify, that if the Government seeks to continue on its own steam than they are put on fair notice that they may be asked dismantle, at least subject to the outcome notice and a warning should be given. We would request the courts that this should be a priority and we should warn the Government that this should be the last priority, the project for them and the for the court, it should be the first priority to hear this kind of matter.
Lastly, you know very well, I have not addressed the pollution issue, the dust, the traffic jam, the obstructions, the nightmare for the every citizen, which this whole 1-2 kilometre area will become for 2-3-4 years. It appears to be a one person’s hobby horse, it appears to be somebody ego, it appears to be a scheme, which has no parallel and it should be scrapped, at least postponed immediately.
On a question that about Supreme Court looked in to the Central Vista project but did not stay the project, Dr. Singhvi said- Let me answer it, your perception is wrong. First and foremost, the question of accountability of the Government, forget the Court first and foremost. I have given you all the reasons, why any responsible and responsive Government and Prime Minister should on their own pay heed. It is not my demand, it is not your demand, it is not third persons ego, it is an obvious common sensible thing and they should need no body to climb down from their hobby horse. Secondly, there is no denial by the Supreme Court of a stay. Let me make it very clear. Denial means consideration and reasoned denial, there is none of that.
Number three, what happened yesterday, was simply saying that, a matter is already pending; we will not entertain in another second matter, which Shri Rajeev Suri tried to file yesterday, that’s all, they said. The first matter is pending. Yes, I agree with you that the Supreme Court should take it on priority and consider interim and final. In fact, by now, the Supreme Court should have heard it in 45 days or in 60 days Supreme Court should have twice heard it. So, they should hear it, but, don’t think that there is a denial of stay, because, there is no application of mind, there is no hearing, there is no order, there is no denial in that.
On a question about point about the judiciary allegedly subjugating itself to the executives, Dr. Singhvi said- They are not allowing Committees to function virtually is, according to my respectful submission, very-very difficult to defend. You have the example all of you the whole Parliament of UK functioning on many occasions and debating on Zoom, the much criticised, or the much praised to zoom itself. The whole Parliament and their numbers are more than us. Here a Committee cannot function, I for the life cannot be understand why. Number three, I don’t subscribe to complete broad generalisation that there is subjugation. But, I do subscribe to the view that the judiciary is the last bastion of hope. So, the prioritisation of the cases has to be clear. The prioritisation of the important cases have to be taken up. There is no question that Corona allows it to take it up, arguing for hours is possible, we do it for urgent matter in the last two weeks and there is no reason why a categorisation and I have suggested it myself in writing, one- in the very hyper urgent cases because I am against pretended urgency. Let them be taken up in 3-4 benches up to each. Let at least 50% of judges, 15 judges in seven benches sit into old cases, ten years old, five years old and let the balanced two or three benches takes up such important matters. All three can be done and money and the resources should not be excuse that whole thing of fifty and Hundred crores ramping up the infrastructure. Why should judges be bothered about things like this connectivity, internet, zoom, VIDYO which Supreme Court uses or several high courts uses, these are small things. So, I entirely agree that must be done and these must be addressed. I would not use the phrase subjugation etc, I don’t agree with that.
On another question about opposition to Central Vista project, Dr. Singhvi said- Number one, please remember this project is the brain child, the favourite theme of one person. Number two, that one person has the Government and that Government has majority. Number three, do you expect majorities of Parliamentary committees to reflect otherwise and do you expect anybody within that majority to oppose numero uno, I think you are living in a cloud cocoons land if you so expect. I have said these three things, our opposition remains on economics, on law, on transparency and above all the first question on need for this, I would call it either a hair braid scheme or a completely unnecessary scheme. Why do you need it? If you spend a fraction of Rs. 20 thousand crores, you can modernise our existing Parliament, North Block, South Block, Nirman Bhawan, this Bhawan or that Bhawan, hundred times over, keep everything as it as and make it hundred times more efficient from inside. Hundred crores, very well, I am wrong five hundred crores. You are talking of a bill of Central Vista project is Rs 20 thousand crores. We are not talking about pollution, dust, traffic jams, lack of transparency in biding times, let’t forget all that. What is the need? Is it a need that you must erase everything other than what is your own imprint on the country? Is it an approach that everything which is foreign or old is bad? Please multi layered, it is your history, it is my history, my predecessor’s history, my successor history. You can’t rewrite history like that.
On another question that day before yesterday Government has said that no train will be run and now today morning, the trains have started running so do you see any lack of planning and any lack of information distribution also and secondly you have talked about federal structure, how do you see the role of governors in the states like Maharashtra, West Bengal, Puducherry etc, Dr. Singhvi said- Hundred Percent you are right, there is no doubt that you are having knee jerk reactions. We are quite happy, whether it is because of our briefing, because of our complaints, or otherwise, something has started, but, that is not the point. Is it not obvious that you have a circular which says- ‘only buses’ on 29th Evening and you have now started one train or two trains in a country, the size of India and the migrant labours stranded there. Is it not obvious that there is no planning. You are making the rules as you go along. It is quite obvious otherwise see. At least, on the 10th or 12th day, you could started the transportation of these labour, by now, which is the 45th day, in 30 days you had dealt at least more of half of them.
Second point about federalism, you see a lot of things are not challenged during such time. You are the centre, I am the state, you will do 2-3 things illegal, most states will not object. Because these are difficult times people say- okay, let’s get on to the actual work. But, my complaint is that you cannot keep on violating and transgressing the federal boundaries when it comes to power and putting your hands away, when it comes to obligation. Power goes with obligation, obligation goes with power.
My third point is that Governors have always a very constructive role only. I deprecate attempts, I will not name the states, we know very well a particular name of the state, you have taken, one particular had applied it completely. Governors have to realise that they are to be heard and not seen. They rain and do not ruin. Barring exemptions situation like 356 or minority Government or dissolution, which we are not discussing today, a Governor can do only 3-4 things, then I am saying it very clearly. He can ask for information, they can make a suggestion, but, if that suggestions is not implicated, they cannot harass the Government with that suggestions. He can not have a press conference on his own. He can not in the press conference criticise his own Government in his own state.  He cannot use adjectives for the Chief Minister, who is elected. There are no two centres of power. There is no diarchy in a state, otherwise they will be chaos. Yes, I am assuming that the Governor X, I am not talking of a particular state or Governor, is bonafide, and that Governor says -Y, do ABC, the Chief Minister of that state why I will not do ABC. Let me assume the extreme situation. What is the remedy? Remedy is not to attack on your Chief Minister and your own state Government. You just have to keep quiet. You can write a letter on that, that’s it. At the end of the day, that Chief Minister who is doing a blunder, will be fixed by the electorate, will be fixed by the norms of constitution law. If you don’t follow this restraint, as a governor, you should not be a Governor, you should have to try a Chief Minister.

youtube link : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t8Tsix8hxlM

Sd/-
(Vineet Punia)
Secretary
Communication Deptt,
AICC

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