Bansal refutes TMC charge that WB has been neglected



New Delhi: Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal on Tuesday said he is surprised by the allegation of Trinamool Congress (TMC) that West Bengal has been neglected in the Rail Budget and said he had given 14 new trains to the state.

"I am surprised that they (TMC) are saying West Bengal has been neglected...Trinamool Congress has been presenting the Rail Budget in the past. They should know better," Bansal told reporters after presenting the Budget in Parliament.

"TMC's criticism is not justified. They did not listen to my speech," he said. Opposing the Budget, TMC members had trooped into the Well of Lok Sabha during the speech of Bansal who had twice referred to "my learned predecessors" that included Railway Ministers belonging to Trinamool Congress. Dinesh Trivedi and Mukul Roy (both TMC) had as Railway Minister floated the idea of segregating fuel component from passenger and freight tariff.

Giving details of projects given to West Bengal in the Budget, he said funds have been allotted for the East-West Metro Corridor in Kolkata, seven new trains have been introduced, seven trains been extended and frequencies of two trains have been increased.

On BJP terming the Rail Budget as "Rae Bareli Budget", Bansal said, "We have tried to accomodate demands from every part of the country. If they have anathema towards Rae Bareli, I cannot help it."

PTI