Protest against `raw deal' to State in railway budget
ONGOLE: Telugu Desam Party activists held up three trains at the Ongole railway station for one hour to protest against the neglect of the interests of Andhra Pradesh in the railway budget.
Telugu Desam district president and Addanki MLA Karanam Balaramakrishna Murthi led the agitators who squatted on the track from 10.30 a.m. and held up the trains -- Puri-Tirupati Express, Bangalore-Guwahati Express and Ahmedabad-Chennai Navjeevan Express.
They raised slogans seeking provision of more facilities for train passengers in the State.
Addressing the gathering, Mr. Balaramakrishna Murthi accused Railway Minister Laloo Prasad of ignoring Andhra Pradesh in the last three budgets.
The TDP leader came down heavily on the Members of Parliament, including those from the district, who remained mute spectators even as the Railway Minister diverted funds to Bihar at the cost of Andhra Pradesh.
Dig at UPA
He pointed out that the UPA could form the Government at the Centre mainly due to the large number of Congress MPs from Andhra Pradesh. Though there were 38 MPs, including eight ministers from the State, they could not prevail upon the Government to give the State its due in railway projects.
Mr. Balaramakrishna Murthi recalled that when he was MP, he could get railway over bridge sanctioned at Ongole at a cost of Rs. 16 crores and two-thirds of the bridge work was completed during his tenure.
Congress MP Magunta Sreenivasulu Reddy could not get the remaining work done in the last three years, he alleged.