‘Smart City’ tag eludes Bihar, U.P., Congress alleges ‘political vendetta’

New Delhi, Jan. 29 (ANI): The Congress Party on Friday alleged that the Centre has insulted both Bihar and Uttar Pradesh with motive of ‘political vendetta’ after none of the cities in both the states could make it to the first Smart City contest.

“The list of Smart City clearly reveals that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is not able to digest his loss in Bihar and there is no chance of BJP in Uttar Pradesh and that is why with a motive of ‘political vendetta’ the Smart City contest has insulted both Bihar and Uttar Pradesh,” Congress leader Pramod Tiwari told ANI.

“That is why none of the cities from both the states have been able to make it to the Smart City contest,” he added.

Tiwari further said that he would be raising this issue in both houses of Parliament.

Populous states like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar and Jharkhand have missed the Centre’s Smart City, where Odisha’s capital Bhubaneswar tops the list of 20 cities as part of the first batch of the Smart City initiative that will attract investment of over Rs 50,000 crore to leap into a modern and dynamic landscape.

Congratulating the winners, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “I wish the cities the very best as they move forward with implementation and transform urban India.”

Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu clarified that the final selection of cities was based on ‘bottoms up’ approach with the involvement of citizens in formulation of vision and plan. Urban local bodies and state governments piloted the mission. He added the ministry did not play any role in the selection.

The Centre will give each city Rs 500 crore over five years under the Modi government’s smart city mission. The Centre had pledged to spend Rs 48,000 crore in five years to elevate 100 localities to the status of smart cities.

Pune, Jaipur, Surat, Kochi, Ahmedabad, Jabalpur, Visakhapatnam, Solapur, Davanagere, Indore, Coimbatore, Kakinada, Belagavi, Udaipur, Guwahati, Chennai, Ludhiana and Bhopal are the other cities selected in the first batch. (ANI)

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