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Home > News > Report

Lalu books record number of trains for RJD rally

Anand Mohan Sahay in Patna | October 23, 2007 13:54 IST

Union Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav's Rashtriya Janata Dal has booked 35 special trains for the party's chetawani (warning) rally in Patna on October 28.

Official sources in the Danapur division of the East Central Railway have confirmed the booking.

"RJD memebrs have booked 35 special trains on October 27 and 28 from various parts of Bihar and Jharkhand to ferry its supporters to attend the chetawani rally in Patna" they said.

A senior railway official on condition of anonymity told that this was the maximum number of trains ever booked for any political function in India. "There is no record of more than 20 special trains booked for any rally in the past" he said.

RJD national spokesperson Shyam Rajak said that RJD is going to pay the regular fees to book the rally special trains. "The Railways will earn a hefty amount for running rally special trains. It is not free of cost," said Rajak, who is considered to be a close aide of Lalu.

The RJD leader said that the party has already deposited some amount and it will pay the remaining amount soon.

The Railways charges approximately Rs 8 lakh for running a special train with 18 coaches. "The Railways will earn nearly Rs 3 crore for running 35 special trains for the chetawani rally" said a Railway official.

However, some officials point out that running 35 rally special trains besides nearly 100 regular trains will be a tough task. "Some long distance trains including Rajdhani, which travel through Bihar and Jharkhand, will be delayed because of the special trains," an official said.

However, Danapur Divisional Railway Manager B D Garg claimed that the Railways has chalked out an action plan for the smooth running of the special trains along with the regular trains.

"We have made elaborate arrangements for the smooth running of passenger trains and to provide security to passengers traveling by long distance trains" he said.

Several senior railway officials have been deputed to supervise the arrangements for the special rally trains. Hundreds of additional railway officials including station masters and traffic inspectors have been deployed to ensure the smooth and timely running of the special trains.

According to RJD sources, the 35 rally special trains are expected to ferry at least two lakh supporters to Patna.

RJD leaders claim that the chetawani rally will break the records of all previous rallies organised by Lalu. "Chetawani rally will create a new record as over ten lakh people are expected to attend it" a RJD leader said.