The Opposition reaction to the Railway budget was on predictable lines, describing it as pedestrian, discriminatory and inflationary.
The Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party, which are extending outside support to the UPA, were also not enthused with the budget and complained about the neglect of Uttar Pradesh.
BJP president Rajnath Singh dubbed it eyewash for, passenger fares had already been hiked before the budget session. “Now the government has introduced a dynamic fuel adjustment component on freight rates that will result in a five per cent increase in rates. Any increase in freight rates is bound to push all-round inflation.”
By making a significant reduction in creating new rail track targets (the proposal is only for 400 km for 2013-14), the UPA government had shown its lack of vision to build rail infrastructure, Mr. Singh said.
BJP leader Gopinath Munde said it was more of a ‘Rae Bareli budget’, favouring Sonia Gandhi’s constituency. SP chief Mulayam Singh said it was a “budget for the Congress.”
CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury said the budget would have a cascading effect on prices and “none of its plans are likely to fructify.”
The Left parties appeared sceptical of plans to carry out expansion and modernisation in public-private partnership mode, and said the budget had little to offer on increasing safety, which was a matter of “grave concern.”