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Opposition dismisses ‘vision document’

Opposition dismisses ‘vision document’
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Criticising the Railway Budget, West Bengal Chief Minister and former railways minister Mamata Banerjee said that Centre was trying to befool the people by saying there was no hike in passenger fare. “The fact is they hiked the rail fare soon after coming to power,” she said.

Former railways minister and Trinamool Congress leader Dinesh Trivedi, said the Budget was based on “empty coffers.” He said, “It’s like saying I will go to the moon. It’s an idea, a dream but what is important is how you are going to reach there. It’s all about future but your finances presently suffer from almost 50 percent shortfall. How are you going to meet the gap. I see Railways going the Air India way.”

Congress chief Sonia Gandhi expressed her disappointment over the Budget, which she claimed a rechristened version of UPA’s initiatives. Her party spokesman Abhishek Manu Singhvi said, “I respect Suresh Prabhu’s reform-minded thinking. It’s good that they haven’t started new trains.”

However, he hastened to add, “But I would like to say, it’s a below average budget. Underlining that
modernisation of Railways requires huge capital investment and the minister didn’t indicate that from where money will come.”

 BJP’s ally in Maharashtra, Shiv Sena slammed the NDA government saying that the Budget lacked clarity. “We are completely dissatisfied with the budget. They have said so many things in the budget. But from where will the money come?” senior Shiv Sena MP Gajanan Kirtikar said. Prabhu was a Sena leader before he defected to BJP to become Railway minister.

Claiming that there nothing new in the budget, CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta and BSP chief Mayawati said, “It is just a normal Budget and that too, repetition of the old one.” SP president Mulayam Singh Yadav’s statement however came as a sigh of relief for Prabhu. While praising the budget for its lack of populist measures like announcement of new trains, he lauded Prabhu for focusing on fulfilling projects unveiled in past budgets. “This is a good job,” he added.

Dismayed over no rail fare cut, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said, “We were expecting fare cut, but that didn’t happen.” Leaders of the ruling party including home minister Rajnath Singh, party president Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi lauded the budget and defended Prabhu’s vision of reviving the ailing Indian Railways.
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