The Trinamool Congress leadership came down strongly on the Centre here on Wednesday for the recent hike in railway passenger fares and the proposed increase in the city’s Metro railways.
The party termed the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government “anti people” for its decision that its all-India general secretary Mukul Roy described as “immoral” and a “burden on the people.”
He regarded the fare hike just ahead of the festivities as an “insult to the people of the State and the country.”
Mr. Roy said that such a decision would hit the people hard during the festive season, claiming that within the span of eight months, the railway passenger fare has been hiked thrice.
“In certain phases, the Metro fares have been hiked by 100 per cent and there are some instances when the raise has been 125 per cent,” he said. The new fares will be put into effect from October 18.
He pointed out that neither Mamata Banerjee nor he nor party MP Dinesh Trivedi had increased passenger fares in trains when they were Railway Ministers.
He also blamed the Centre for the steady decline of the value of the Rupee.
Mr. Roy appealed to the people not to pay the extra fare and demanded that those who could not afford to pay the extra fare had to be allowed to commute by the Metro rail and no action could be taken against them.
The youth wing of the Trinamool Congress would be taking out a procession in the city on Thursday against the fare hike and the proposed increase in fares in Metro services. Admitting that the procession at the start of the five-day Durga Puja festival could cause inconvenience to revellers, he pointed out: “But we [the Trinamool Congress] are forced to take such a step because of the situation arising from the Centre’s decision.”