Ranchi: In yet another run-in with Railway
Minister Mamata Banerjee, the ebullient RJD strongman Lalu
Yadav today appeared to mimic the Trinamool Congress leader
over her appeal to Naxals to spare Rail property.
Injecting some humour at a rally herre in poll-bound
Jharkhand, the former Railway minister laid emphasis on how
Mamta was saying "please, please" to the Naxals not to make
Railways as their target.
Mamata on Friday appealed to the Maoists not to target
trains and said she will take up the issue of railway safety
with Home Minister P Chidambaram.
"I appeal to the Maoists not to target the Railways.
Railways cater to the common people. Maoists should not target
trains," she said in New Delhi.
Her comments came in the backdrop of yet another Naxal
attack on a train in Jharkhand on Thursday night which left a
woman and a child dead after eight bogies of the Tata-Bilaspur
passenger train derailed following a blast in West Singbhum
district. Several passengers were also injured.
Lalu said the "pilot"(driver) of the train erred in
halting the train at the command of the Naxals. The driver
should not have stopped the train, Lalu said, adding "I would
have done so."
Known for his wit, Lalu also seemed to suggest that the
Naxals would have damaged only the engine had the train
continued its journey.
The passengers would have been spared at least, the
former Bihar Chief Minister said.
Mamata and Lalu had several run-ins ever since she became
Railway minister in the UPA-II government.
While the new Railway minister was presenting her budget,
there was a game of one-upmanship between the two.