Lalu Prasad slams rail fare hike



New Delhi: Criticising the hike in passenger fare, former Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav today said it will put a burden on common people and wondered how the Railways had been reduced to a "dry cow".

"In my time the turn around in railway was praised by all. What magic had happened that railway clocked so much profits. Railway gave a surplus of Rs 7000 crore during my time. I gave huge relief to all and never tried to harass the common man," Prasad told reporters outside Parliament House.

The RJD chief, who was the Railway Minister in UPA I, said, "Railway which used to be like a jersey cow (a breed which gives large quantity of milk) has been reduced to a cow whose milk has dried up."

Expressing doubts whether Mamata Banerjee was consulted over the railway budget presented by her party's Minister Dinesh Trivedi, the RJD chief said, "I had introduced the budget but never increased the fare nor did Mamata Banerjee. I am astonished how it has been increased."

Asked about Banerjee's opposition to passenger fare hike in the budget, Prasad said, "Mamata cannot make a false statement. Mamata will have to bear its adverse impact".

"It is not in the interest of our countrty. I am astonished in which situation she (Mamata) is denying it. He is nominee of Mamanta. I understand that Mamata would not have consented to a fare hike," Prasad said.

PTI