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Mamata livid, demands roll back of rail fare hike

Last updated on: March 14, 2012 18:03 IST

Mamata livid, demands roll back of rail fare hike

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West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee declared on Wednesday that she will not allow any hike in railway fares proposed in the Railway Budget by her own nominee Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi.

"We will not not allow rail fares to be hiked," she told a public meeting here, hours after Trivedi had proposed an across-the-board hike in passenger fares to raise Rs.4,000 crore (Rs 40 billion) extra this year.

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Union Budget 2012-13: Complete coverage

Image: Mamata Banerjee.


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Mamata livid, demands roll back of rail fare hike

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Stating that she was not not aware of the move to raise the fares, Banerjee asserted, "I assure you we will not not accept this fare hike."

Asked about Banerjee's statement, Trivedi said, "I will try to convince her."

A team of Trinamool Congress Members of Parliament met Railway Minister and party colleague Trivedi soon after he presented the Railway Budget in which he proposed to hike fares across all classes.

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Union Budget 2012-13: Complete coverage

Image: Sudip Bandyopadhyay.


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Mamata livid, demands roll back of rail fare hike

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Minister of State for Health Sudip Bandyopadhyay said that the TMC MPs asked the Railway Minister to roll-back the fare hike.

When pointed out that Trivedi was a member of the Trinamool Congress, he said the Railway Minister has performed his 'constitutional duty' by presenting the Budget.

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Image: A Trinamool Congress rally.
Photographs: Danish Siddiqui/Reuters

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Mamata livid, demands roll back of rail fare hike

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"The Trinamool Congress never rolls back its demand," Bandyopadhyay said.

"Railway Budget. . .what was all that about increasing fares across the board? Upper class. . .maybe ok. . .but all? Sorry, cannot agree," Trinamool MP Derek O'brien tweeted.

Bandyopadhyay said the Trinamool Congress would never support any fare hike.

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Union Budget 2012-13: Complete coverage

Image: A sniffer dog of Railway police checks passengers' bags inside compartment of Kolkata Metro.
Photographs: Jayanta Shaw/Reuters

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With the Trinamool Congress demanding a rollback in the hike in rail passenger fare, party Chief Whip Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay said on Wednesday that he was sure that there was a directive from the party not to increase it.

"Till Tuesday I knew that the fares will not be hiked. May be (Dinesh) Trivedi thinks that what he has done as the Railway Minister is correct.

"But I am sure there was a directive from the party not to increase the fare. The party has made him a minister. I think he should not have opposed the directive of the party," Chattopadhyay said.

He said that in the last year's budget presented by Mamata Banerjee as Railway Minister she had emphasised mobilisation of resources by commercially developing unutilised railway land through the PPP model.

"She never wanted to put the burden on the common people," Chattopadhyay said.

Union Budget 2012-13: Complete coverage



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