High on semantics, says Opposition

The government’s heart is with the elite, not the poor: Congress

February 27, 2015 01:14 am | Updated November 17, 2021 02:11 am IST - NEW DELHI:

The Minister has pulled a fast one on the people, says the Congress.

The Minister has pulled a fast one on the people, says the Congress.

The Bharatiya Janata Party has been quick to pat itself on the back for announcing a Railway Budget that has not spelt a hike in fares, and claims to lead the railways on the path of innovation and new approaches. But its political opponents have dismissed the budget as being high only on semantics.

The Congress was critical and said Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu had “pulled a fast one” on the people by failing to lower fares despite the downturn in global crude prices. “A trained Chartered Accountant has derailed the budget. They could have lowered the fares, a series of dreams have been peddled and the government seems to have lost connectivity with the rural people” said party spokesman Rajiv Gowda. The Congress also expressed disappointment that no new trains had been announced. It took a pot shot at the government saying, “the budget shows that the heart of the NDA government is with the elite and not with the poor.”

The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) said the Railway Budget was high on hyperbole but low on content. In a statement, the party said: “During the first three years of the 12th Five Year Plan, the railways received only Rs. 1.5 lakh crore for investment. Yet, the Railway Minister bombastically promised that in the coming five years, this will increase to Rs. 8.56 lakh crore.”

Not impressed with the Minister for not raising the fares, the CPI (M) said the revised estimates showed that the traffic growth had declined, there were 4.6 crore less originating passengers and passenger earnings were short by Rs. 968 crore proving earlier fare hikes to be counterproductive.

“Given this, there should not be any euphoria over passenger fares not being raised. The gross traffic receipts were Rs. 492 crores as compared to the revised estimates,” it said.

Borrowing from an advertisement, former Railway Minister and TMC leader Dinesh Trivedi said the budget had fooled the people. “It is like they say in the advertisement, what an idea sirji, but then it is only fooling people.”

The government’s ally Shiv Sena too was unhappy with the budget.

Top News Today


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.