New Delhi: Congress on Wednesday hailed the
railway budget saying the party in particular welcomes Mamata
Banerjee`s decision not to increase passenger fares.
"We welcome the Railway budget. In this seventh
successive railway budget under UPA I and UPA II, there has
been no hike in passenger fares or even in freight. Both the
UPA governments need to be congratulated for that," party
spokesperson Shakeel Ahmed told reporters here.
He also appreciated Banerjee for emphasising on social
sectors in her budget.
Asked whether the party is distancing itself from the
white paper issued by Banerjee during the first budget of UPA
II, which was seen as snubbing the high success claims of the
UPA I`s Railway Minister Lalu Prasad, Ahmed said, "we have
only welcomed the non-increase of fare during UPA I and UPA
II. The inside statistics can be explained only by the
minister and the former minister."
Ahmed evaded a direct reply when asked whether
Banerjee has ignored a missive by the Prime Minister`s
Economic Advisory Committee, which reportedly advised for a
hike in passenger fare. "What transpired between the PMO and
the minister concerned is a matter between them," he said.
Asked whether the moratorium on price rise is
continuing due to the upcoming West Bengal Assembly elections,
where the Congress-Trinamool Congress alliance hopes to win
elections saying the "the moratorium is there for last seven