March 14th, 2012
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Mamata criticises railway budget; Trivedi defends it

mamata-banerjeeNew Delhi: Mamata Banerjee has made public her opposition to fare hikes. No sooner had Trivedi completed his speech his own party, the TMC strongly opposed the budget. Senior TMC MPs Sudeep Bandyopadhyay and Derek O’ Brien both vented their objections. Mamata Banerjee publically stated that the hike is not acceptable.

TMC Lok Sabha MP and Minister of State for Health, Bandhopadhay, said: “We have asked Dinesh Trivedi to announce a roll back in fares. The fare hike is unwarranted.” When pointed out that Trivedi was a member of the Trinamool Congress, Bandopadhyay said the Railway Minister has performed his “constitutional duty” by presenting the Budget. “The Trinamool Congress never rolls back its demand,” Bandopadhyay said.

Defending his budget he said “The hike is in paisa, people can afford this hike. Bhagat Singh lost his life, losing a chair is no big deal, Mamata is not so unreasonable. I have taken a conscious decision, I’m in politics for the people. Mamata has never ever interfered with my work. I have done what was required to do for the betterment of the railways.” Responding to the demand for roll back he said, “If you roll back the fares, you have to roll back safety too.”

“I have done my duty… now I leave it to God.” Referring to the precarious financial health of the railways, he said, “The railways was getting into the ICU and I have pulled it out of ICU. You cannot have everything together.” The fares are nominal – two paise per km for the cheapest tickets and 30 paise per kilometre for the more expensive ones.


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