Opposition slams Rail Budget, will hit common man

PTI New Delhi | Updated on February 26, 2013

The Opposition on Tuesday slammed the Rail Budget for increasing the burden on the common man, with BJP terming it as “pedestrian” and “discriminatory” while Left said it does not give any hope on railways’ future.

Key outside UPA allies Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party too were unhappy saying it was anti—poor and ignored areas of Uttar Pradesh which need rail infrastructure for economic development.

BJP leader Gopinath Munde said it was more of a ‘Rae Bareli budget’, claiming it has favoured Sonia Gandhi’s constituency while SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav said it was a “budget for the Congress“.

“This is not rail budget but Rae Bareli budget. This budget has not been prepared keeping in mind the whole country and this is the reason one could see an attempt to disrupt the budget presentation due to unrest among the MPs,” Munde, who Deputy Leader of BJP, told reporters outside Parliament.

The main opposition claimed that the NDA ruled states had been discriminated against.

“Especially, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh have been totally ignored and there are no new schemes for these states. This budget is for Amethi, Rae Bareli and Chandigarh. This is a discriminatory budget,” he said.

Former Finance Minister and MP Yashwant Sinha described the Railway budget as “very, very pedestrian” and a “political budget” aimed at the forthcoming general elections.

“The rail minister acknowledged that railway finances were not properly handled during the previous years which led to the present situation. The PM was listening. This PM had earlier said that the Budget is good, this year also he is saying the same thing irrespective of who the rail minister is,” Sinha said.

He alleged that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was responsible for the poor financial condition of railways.

BSP supremo Mayawati said the rail budget was a “disappointment“.

“The poor and middle classes will not benefit much from it.... Fare has been hiked through backdoor,” she said, a charge echoed by the Left parties which claimed that the Rail Minister had camouflaged the hike.

CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury said the budget will have cascading effect on prices and “no of its plans are likely to fructify”.

Published on February 26, 2013

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