Opposition targets Modi government over “utter mismanagement” of Railways

The Congress party alleged a lack of accountability as a reason for this steep deterioration in safety standards in the Indian Railways

Updated - June 17, 2024 08:00 pm IST

Published - June 17, 2024 06:22 pm IST - New Delhi

People gather at the site after a goods train hit the Kanchanjunga Express travelling from Silchar, Assam to Sealdah, West Bengal from behind, in Darjeeling on June 17, 2024.

People gather at the site after a goods train hit the Kanchanjunga Express travelling from Silchar, Assam to Sealdah, West Bengal from behind, in Darjeeling on June 17, 2024. | Photo Credit: ANI

Expressing their condolence over the loss of lives in the collision between Kanchanjunga Express and a goods train in West Bengal’s Jalpaiguri, Opposition leaders targeted the Narendra Modi government and sought accountability.

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge, a former Railway Minister himself, alleged “utter mismanagement” of the Railway Ministry in the past 10 years of the Modi government.

“Extremely distressed by the Kanchanjunga Express train collision accident in Jalpaiguri, West Bengal, where many people have lost their lives and several have been injured,” Mr. Kharge said in a post on X (formerly Twitter).

  

“As a responsible Opposition, it is our bounden duty to underline how the Modi government has systematically converted the Rail Ministry into a platform of ‘Camera-driven’ self-promotion. Today’s tragedy is yet another reminder of this stark reality,” Mr. Kharge alleged.

“Make no mistake, we will remain persistent with our questions and shall make the Modi government accountable for its criminal abandonment of the Indian Railways,” the Congress chief added.

Former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, in a post on X, said, “The increase in railway accidents in the last 10 years is a direct result of the mismanagement and negligence of the Modi government” and asserted that “as a responsible opposition, we will continue to question this blatant negligence and hold the Modi government accountable for these accidents”.

  

“The Railway Ministry, busy in PR exercises, is miserably failing in its basic responsibility of ensuring safety. There was no accountability fixed after the deadly Balasore accident, and this latest tragedy is the result of no remedial steps taken to prevent such accidents in the future. The PM and the Railways Minister must take responsibility for this steep deterioration in safety standards in the Indian Railways,” added Congress general secretary (organisation) K.C. Venugopal.

Urging the Railways to help the family of the victims and injured, Communist Party of India general secretary D. Raja said,” The Railway Ministry should focus on larger issues of infrastructure, rail track maintenance, signalling system, and proper manpower to prevent such mishaps. Earlier, the Railways used to have separate budget, but, ever since the BJP came to power, that is not the case.”

  

In an X post, the Sharad Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party put out a 25-year-old video of Bihar Chief Minister and Janata Dal (United) chief Nitish Kumar, who had resigned as the Union Railway Minister after the Gaisal train tragedy of 1999 that killed over 285 people. “But Ashwini Vaishnaw in the Modi government, who had two major train accidents during his tenure, never once accepted the responsibility for the train accident,” the NCP said in its post.

  

Trinamool Congress’ Derek O’Brien said that “a government focused on vanity projects, does not care about safety”.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in

Comments

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.