Kolkata: The Sainthia train accident rocked
the West Bengal Assembly for the second day on Tuesday with Left
Front members demanding the resignation of Railway Minister,
and Trinamool Congress accusing the Speaker of misusing the
House for political purposes.
RSP member Tapan Hore said the Railways was trying to
wash its hands off yesterday`s accident with the Railway Board
Chairman holding the driver of the Uttarbanga Express, which
rammed into the Vananchal Express, responsible.
The Railway Board Chairman was told to say this to save
the Railways, Hore alleged after he was allowed to raise the
issue by Speaker H A Halim.
Claiming that neither Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee
nor the Railway Board had discharged their responsibilities,
he demanded that the Minister should resign owning moral
responsibility for the accident.
Senior CPI(M) member Rabin Mondol said that 15 train
accidents had taken place in the country in the past one year.
When the Railway Minister had visited Sainthia station
yesterday, Mondol said, the people had raised slogans
demanding her resignation.
Trinamool Congress members strongly protested this and
alleged that the House was being used for political purposes
to criticise the Railway Minister.
Leader of the Opposition, Partha Chatterjee alleged
that the CPI(M) was bent on politicising the accident in which
many people had lost their lives.
Subsequently, both the Trinamool Congress and Congress
MLAs walked out from the House.
Earlier, Congress leader in the Assembly, Manas Bhunia
accused Hore of launching a political attack against the
Railway Minister and described it as unfortunate.
If the Railway Minister was to resign for the accident
would the chief minister and Transport minister resign for
road accidents which claimed many lives, he asked.
Bhunia demanded an inquiry at the highest level into
the accident in Sainthia.
Later, Trinamool Congress members shouted slogans in
the Assembly lobby against the Speaker "for allowing the
House to be used for political purposes".
Chatterjee accused the Speaker of acting at the behest
of the CPI(M). "It is amazing that the train accident issue
was discussed again after the House observed silence in memory
of those killed."
The Railway Minister had reached the accident spot
quickly and made arrangements for the treatment of the
injured, he said.