BJP criticises Mamata after train accident in Sainthia

BJP on Monday raised eyebrows about the capability and willingness of Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee in providing safety to railway passengers.

New Delhi: BJP on Monday raised eyebrows about the capability and willingness of Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee in providing safety to passengers and suggested that
if she continued to use her office for playing politics in West Bengal she should be made "minister without portfolio".

"Mamata Banerjee should concentrate on railways. If she is using the railways as a platform for politics in West Bengal, it is better to make her a minister without
portfolio," BJP spokesperson Tarun Vijay said.

More than 60 people are feared dead and 90 injured in an early morning collision between Uttarbanga Express and Vananchal Express that took place at Sainthia station in
Birbhum district of West Bengal.

Five major train accidents have taken place since Banerjee took over as the Railway Minister in 2009.

When asked if BJP would demand her resignation, the spokesperson said at the moment the party only wanted an inquiry into the latest incident.

"The accident has raised serious doubts about the railways capability to provide safety and a comfortable journey," Vijay said.

"Why Railways have not learnt lessons till now is a serious question," he added.

He suggested that the inquiry into the latest accident should also look into this issue.

Vijay said the statement of Banerjee after the accident that she has "deep doubts" about its cause seems to suggest that it could be a Naxal attack or a case of sabotage.

"What caused the accident is a mystery to us. The driver of the Uttarbanga Express was a very good driver. He had stopped the train properly at previous station. We are
puzzled," the Eastern Railways general manager said.

At least 60 people have been killed and over 90 injured in the train accident today.

"The toll may rise as some are still battling for life in hospital," he said.

Tripathy said all the bodies had been extricated from the damaged compartments and all injured rescued.

"There is no one in any of the affected coaches. We have checked them," he said.

A team of National Disaster Relief Force is at the site with sniffer dogs to trace anyone who was still trapped.

Altogether 167 armymen and officers arrived with doctors and para-medical staff from nearby Panagarh and Kanchrapara army stations.

The team members included engineers and metal cutting specialists.

The engine of the Uttarbanga express was totally damaged after it rammed into the rear of the Vananchal Express in Sainthia station in Birbhum district. The luggage van of the Vananchal Express split into two and lay beside the track.


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