Cong defends Mamata after motormen`s stir paralysed Mumbai

Last Updated: Tuesday, May 4, 2010 - 19:40

New Delhi: Congress on Tuesday came out in defence
of its ally and Railway Minister Mamta Banerjee after the
opposition targeted her for "failing to avert the situation"
which led to the motormen`s strike paralysing Mumbai sub-urban
rail services.

"All steps have been taken by the minister (Banerjee) and
all steps will be taken," party spokesperson Jayanthi
Natarajan told reporters here.

Asked whether the party was satisfied with the steps
taken by Banerjee to avert the strike, "Certainly. All steps
have been taken by the minister. We are satisfied with our
alliance partner Mamta Banerjee. She is discharging her
responsibility properly".

However, Natarajan said the strike has affected lakhs of
people.

To a query on the alliance with Trinamool Congress
breaking down for the Kolkata Municipal Corporation elections,
Natarajan said, "it was very strong" at the Centre.

She expressed confidence that the alliance at the
national level would remain strong.

On whether the allies were creating trouble for the UPA
II, Natarajan said, "we have no problems with our allies.
Allies and the government are functioning well. These are
politically motivated charges," she said.

Natarajan also rejected charges that the party had double
standards - one for Shashi Tharoor and another for Telecom
Minister A Raja.

"There is only one standard. Our allies are functioning
well," she said.

The Railway motormen called off their indefinite strike
later in the day following talks with the state government.
The decision came after the state government gave an assurance
to them that it would mediate between the strikers and the
Railway Ministry.

Only 20 per cent suburban trains were operated as a
result of the strike for hike in pay scales and allowances as
the western and eastern express highways of the financial
capital were choked with commuters opting for road transport
to reach their destination.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, May 4, 2010 - 19:40

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