New Delhi: Unfazed by criticism of his remarks on the recent rail accident in Bihar, Minister of State for Railways Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on Thursday stood his ground saying better coordination between the state government and Railways could have averted the tragedy.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had reacted sharply to Chowdhury`s criticism of the state government for not coordinating with the Railways, which, according to the latter, led to the Monday`s tragedy at Dhamara Ghat station in Khagaria where 28 people were mowed down by a train.
"The minister`s statement is highly irresponsible," Kumar had said.
JD (U) General Secretary K C Tyagi today demanded that Chowdhury be removed from the Council of Ministers.
When asked about the criticism of his remarks and demand for his resignation, Chowdhury said, "There should be a reason for demanding resignation. I do not understand why they are angry at me."
He said he did say that had there been a better coordination between the state government and Railways, then such a big mishap would not have taken place.
"What I had also said was that Bihar has given the country three Railway ministers. They are aware of the ground reality. It is not correct to blame Railways for everything. Similarly, we too cannot blame the state government," he said.
He was referring to Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, RJD chief Lalu Prasad and LJP leader Ram Vilas Paswan.
He said the state government should have known the number of people who were to gather at the venue for the mela. "Had they informed Railways about the rush, the magnitude of the tragedy could have been much less. This is my personal assessment after visiting the spot," he said.
"Had they visited the spot, they would have agreed with my assessment. I have only pointed to the shortcomings," he said in an apparent dig at Kumar.