Rail Budget 2014: Mamata criticises NDA govt, terms BJP-TMC scuffle unfortunate
West Bengal Chief Minister and former railway minister Mamata Banerjee came down heavily on the Narendra Modi-led NDA government on Tuesday for not providing enough facilities to Bengal in the Rail Budget 2014, saying that the exercise had `neglected and humiliated` her state completely.
Zee Media Bureau/Sushmita Dutta
Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister and former railway minister Mamata Banerjee came down heavily on the Narendra Modi-led NDA government on Tuesday for not providing enough facilities to Bengal in 2014 Railway Budget, saying that the exercise had `neglected and humiliated` her state completely.
“Whatever we had promised, we have done. But the Modi government has done nothing. West Bengal has been given nothing, are we beggars? NDA govt believes that it cannot be criticised,” Mamata told reporters here.
Criticising the NDA government over bringing FDI in infrastructure projects during the Railway Budget today, she said, "So many bluffs have been given before the elections. Why they did not tell the people earlier of bringing FDI in defence and railways. Why now after the elections?"
The West Bengal CM was addressing a government programme here in Hooghly district. Further alleging a vindictive attitude toward West Bengal, Banerjee said, "It has been neglected and humiliated by the new government. Only one weekly express train has been given for Bengal. I ask that it be withdrawn. We are not beggars. We fight for our rights. We do not compromise," ANI reported.
“Look at the website of the Railways. Nothing new has been announced in this budget,” Mamata added.
Stating that other states, including Bihar and Odisha, should also get benefits, she said, "Benefits should be equally distributed. Why is West Bengal being neglected and deprived?"
"Has anyone seen such neglect and humiliation ever? If Bengal is neglected we do not keep quiet," she said at the programme to deliver sops for the weaker sections of the people.
Banerjee further added that she had approved 16 rail projects for her state and proposed 300 new trains for the state when she was the railway minister.
"Today my heart is burning. It is fortunate that I am not there in the Rajya Sabha or Lok Sabha. I do not know what I would have done had I been there," the Trinamool Congress supremo added.
Further hitting out at the previous Congress-led UPA government, Mamata said that it had deprived West Bengal of assistance and the present NDA government is also following the same foot-steps.
Banerjee also charged the government with making trains out of bounds for poor people by hiking fares some days back and said, "India is a socialist country. Therefore, running of the government is fundamentally to see the interests of the poor people. That should be the philosophy."
"However, now that concept has been changed. Only middle class and the rich people can avail the railway facility after the fare hike has been effected", she added.
Commenting over the BJP-TMC scuffle in the Lok Sabha today, Mamata said, “Just now I have received the information. Kalyan (Banerjee) also talked to me. Whatever happened (in the Lok Sabha) is unfortunate. The language used against our woman MPs and me, the way they were misbehaved, is not correct. I am disgusted,” PTI reported.
Members of Trinamool Congress and ruling BJP today locked horns and were almost on the verge of physical clash in the Lok Sabha as a result of which the House could not transact any business in the post-lunch session.
Trouble started as the House met following a break after presentation of the Railway Budget at 2.10 PM with Trinamool members demanding roll back of fare hike announced recently and accusing the government of giving "nothing" to West Bengal which is ruled by the party.
The uproar led to adjournment till 3 PM and then till 3.30 PM. When the House re-assembled, agitated Trinamool Congress and AAP members trooped into the Well opposing the budget.
While Trinamool members were raising slogans against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Railway Minister DV Sadananda Gowda and the Railway Budget, BJP members raised counter slogans from their seats like `abki baar Modi sarkar (this time Modi government)`.
Amid the war of slogans and counter-slogans, two BJP MPs rushed to the Well apparently accusing Trinamool members of disrupting proceedings.
A heated exchange of words ensued and members from the two sides came to the verge of a clash. A couple of marshals were also seen separating the members from the two parties.
With agency inputs