The BJP Monday took a dig at the Congress and its chief Rahul Gandhi against the backdrop of the inauguration of a 5.1-kilometre-long cable-stayed bridge, christened Atal Setu, on the Mandovi River. Hitting back, the opposition party said Rahul Gandhi will visit the bridge after becoming Prime Minister in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.
Earlier in the day, the BJP "requested" Gandhi to "visit" the bridge, named after late BJP patriarch and former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee, to see how the ruling party was "transforming" India. Rahul Gandhi and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi were in Goa since last Saturday on a private visit.
The cable-stayed bridge, the third on the Mandovi River, was opened to public on Sunday at a function attended by Union Minister Nitin Gadkari and Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar.
Tweeting from its official handle Monday, the BJP said, "Dear Shri @RahulGandhi, We have come to learn that you are currently on a vacation in Goa. We request you along with all Congress MLAs to visit the Atal Setu, the 3rd longest cable stayed-bridge in india over river mandovi and witness how @BJP4India is #TransformingIndia."
All Congress MLAs in the state, except Aleixo Reginaldo from Curtorim, had boycotted the bridge inauguration ceremony alleging corruption in its construction. Congress' Goa unit president Girish Chodankar said the BJP inaugurated the "incomplete" bridge knowing well that they are going to lose the general elections, due in April-May.
"The bridge was inaugurated despite it being incomplete, as the BJP knows that they will get defeated in the polls," Chodankar said, adding that Rahul Gandhi will "certainly visit the bridge as a PM after the polls". The Congress leader said the bridge was not open for vehicles because its work is not complete yet. Seeking to know the "real owner" of the bridge, Chodankar said, "the government claims the bridge is handed over to the state-run Goa State Infrastructure Development Corporation (GSIDC), but workers of contractor L&T are still seen working on the project".
The cable-stayed bridge is a joint venture between Larsen &Toubro and the GSIDC.