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Rediff.com  » Business » Ex-Railway Ministers slam Rail budget, call it 'pro-rich'

Ex-Railway Ministers slam Rail budget, call it 'pro-rich'

July 08, 2014 17:58 IST

Former Railway Ministers were not on the same track as incumbent Sadananda Gowda, calling the Rail budget "pro-rich" and a " Modi gadget" which has nothing new to offer.

As Gowda's predecessors picked holes in his maiden Rail budget, Trinamool Congress supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister, a former Railway minister herself, slammed the Centre, saying her state has been "deprived" and "insulted" by the Narendra Modi government.

The Leader of Congress in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, who was succeeded by Gowda, said the first budget of the BJP-led NDA government is bereft of any new scheme, plan or railway line and seeks to please the home state of the Prime Minister -Gujarat.

"It's a pro-rich budget. The budget has nothing new to offer. There are no new schemes, plans or new railway lines. They themselves have admitted that it is a plan holiday. When they are not going to give anything what is the point in talking about it," Kharge told reporters.

Pawan Kumar Bansal, who was succeeded by Kharge, also criticised Gowda for not introducing "anything new" in the rail budget. The Congress leader said projects like linking ports with rail line and introducing Information Technology (IT) were "already in pipeline".

Taking a dig at Gowda for the proposal of introducing FDI in railway projects, he observed, "It is quite strange when I (as railway minister) said that FDI was needed (in railway projects) for making railway world class. They (BJP) had always dubbed FDI as demon."

RJD President Lalu Prasad dubbed the Rail budget as a fraud perpetrated on the people and an attempt to hand over the Railways to foreign hands.

"The Rail budget is nothing, but a fraud on the people ... It's not Railway budget, but a Modi gadget," Prasad, who served as Raiway minister in the UPA I government, told reporters in Patna.

Dinesh Trivedi, a former Trinamool leader and who was removed from his post during the UPA-II regime by Banerjee for raising the train fares marginally, said the idea of a bullet train is fine but the safety on the tracks have to be first made foolproof.

"Bengal is deprived and insulted at the hands of the Centre's new government. In today's perspective, such deprivation and insult has anyone seen"? Banerjee said in a Facebook post. 

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