Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off the Hyderabad Metro Rail at 2.15 pm on Tuesday. A woman loco-pilot, S Supriya, was in the driver’s seat as the PM and other dignitaries took a ride on the inaugural run from Miyapur station. Modi was accompanied by Telangana Governor E S L Narasimhan, Telangana CM K Chandrasekhar Rao, Union Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri and state BJP chief K Laxman among others.
A mobile app named ‘T Savari’ for Metro passengers was also launched by Modi. The Metro will open for the public on Wednesday.
CM Rao looked glum through the inauguration. He did not sit beside Modi on the train, leaving Narasimhan and son K T Rama Rao, a minister in his Cabinet, to sit on either side of the PM. In fact Rao — who had been refused a one-on-one audience with Modi to discuss the 12 per cent minority quota — hardly spoke throughout the half-hour that he was with the PM at the inauguration.
While Rao may have felt ignored, Modi insisted that the CM and his son be beside him when he cut the ribbon for the Metro.
At the GES inaugural ceremony, though, KCR was told to keep his speech under five minutes while Ivanka and Modi spoke for more than 15 minutes each.
Earlier in the day, the PM arrived at Begumpet airport to a rousing welcome by BJP leaders and workers. Addressing the gathering, Modi said the world was looking towards Hyderabad as the city got ready to host entrepreneurs from across the world for the GES.
Thanking the BJP state unit in Telugu for welcoming him, Modi said, “Whatever the BJP is today, it is due to the hard work and sweat of countless BJP workers and their families.”
He added, “We believe in cooperative federalism that will attract investment for business in India. There is no question of discriminating against states where we are not in power. We are committed for the overall development of our country… The central government will provide all possible support to new projects and developmental activities taken up by all states in the country.”