Madhya Pradesh PWD Minister Rampal Singh Saturday advised those who had a "problem" with Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan's praise of the state's roads to leave the state.
Mr Chouhan, while on a tour of the United States of America in October last year, had said, "When I got down at the Washington Airport and travelled on the road, I felt the roads in Madhya Pradesh are better than the United States....I am saying this not just for the sake of saying."
The Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister, at the time, was addressing a business round-table organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry and the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum in Washington DC.
The claim had faced flak from opposition parties like the Congress as well as social media users who uploaded several pictures of potholed roads in Madhya Pradesh.
Speaking to reporters Saturday, minister Rampal Singh said, "The Chief Minister had praised Indore roads while on tour to the US last year. If our opponents have any problem with this praise, then they should leave the state. Do not stay here. Is it wrong to give a compliment?"
Asked about social media posts highlighting the poor conditions of some roads, Mr Singh claimed, "Take a look at the pictures of the roads near Indore's airport and those of Washington which were used by the chief minister. You will know the reality."
He hit out at the previous Congress government under Digvijay Singh, which ruled from 1993 to 2003, claiming that roads at the time had got converted into potholes.
He said that the quality of road and bridge construction under the current BJP government was good and opponents questioning it would receive an answer from the electorate in the forthcoming Assembly elections.
Replying to a query that Madhya Pradesh led in the number of road accidents caused by potholes, Singh said his government would set things right by putting out what he claimed were the right figures.
"There are accidents on the state roads which are due to drunk drivers as well as other reasons. Our department will review the situation and present the right figures in this regard," Singh said.
The minister was here to lay the foundation stone of a Rs 29.47 crore flyover to be built at Bengali Chouraha.
Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, who is also the local MP, was present during the ceremony.
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