Attacking Railway Minister and rival Trinamool leader Mamata Banerjee over spate of train accidents, the CPI(M) on Monday said the latest mishap in West Bengal was a clear case of negligence and asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to “take a call” on issue.
Terming Ms. Banerjee’s statement suggesting that the accident could be an act of sabotage as “highly irresponsible”, CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury said the accident in Sainthia was “clearly a case of negligence. There has been no act of sabotage, nothing has been removed.
“You have a Minister whose attention is elsewhere and the country is paying the price for that”, he said “this is something which cannot be accepted in the collective responsibility of the Cabinet.
“The Prime Minister has to take a call. It is high time he takes a call because in the past one year, the highest numbers of railway accidents have taken place,” Mr. Yechury claimed.
Replying to questions, he said “it is for the Prime Minister to take whatever action he deems fit and for the people to judge“.
“Earlier the Minister used to say that somebody else has caused the accident. But here is a train standing at a station and another hits it from behind.... what about the anti-collision devices and other high technology which was promised in the (Railway) budget.”
Asked whether the CPI(M) would demand Ms. Banerjee’s resignation, he said “asking for resignation is meaningless because in this government, the levels of political morality is so low that it does not matter” and added that what is required was rectification of the situation.
“People will have to see and call spade a spade. They have to see how things have been allowed to degenerate because of this high level of neglect”, Mr. Yechury said.
In a statement, the CPI(M) Polit Bureau expressed shock and sorrow at the Railway accident and conveyed deep condolences to the families of those killed and sympathy to those injured.
“The number of rail accidents has been unprecedented in the last one year. Maintenance of equipment and safety measures are being neglected in the railways,” the party said.
“One lakh jobs in safety related jobs remain vacant. The government cannot keep quiet about the present state of affairs in the railways,” the CPI(M) said.