New Delhi: Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Derek O’Brien today accused the Centre of “politicising” the budgetary allocation for the Railways and favouring BJP-ruled states. He also alleged that the government was deliberately trying to muzzle the voice of the opposition as the ruling dispensation had no answers to the questions raised by it.
“Can the government answer why BJP-ruled states got increased share of budgetary allocation for railways? Uttarakhand got a raise of 165 per cent, Rajasthan 30 per cent raise and Gujarat 20 per cent from the last year’s budgetary allocation,” he said. Meanwhile, the share for states such as Delhi, Kerala, West Bengal was brought down by 14, 23 and 15 per cent respectively, O’Brien claimed.
“They have always accused non-BJP railway ministers of politicising the Railway Budget, but now, it is the government that is politicising the budget,” the TMC leader told reporters. He accused the government of propagating hollow promises of providing employment, saying even though there were 1.75 lakh vacant posts in the Railways’ safety sector, the government was ignoring the issue.
“Safety of railways has been compromised. People can get employment in railways. But this government is not even thinking about it,” O’Brien said. He also attacked the government of deliberately shutting down non-profitable routes in West Bengal to corner the state which is being ruled by an opposition party — the TMC.
“Can you stop all non-profitable routes in all states? the railway ministry has a social responsibility”, the leader asked. He also questioned the priority of the ministry, alleging that it had ignored the freight corridor for the bullet train in Gujarat. The Rajya Sabha member claimed that he was advised by his party supremo Mamata Banerjee, who was Railway minister in the UPA government, to raise the issues in the House to expose the government in Parliament.