House passes railway budget amid din

 The Lok Sabha passed the interim Railway budget amid din on Monday even as Opposition criticised Railway Minister Mallikarjun Kharge of accommodating only the demands from Congress MPs and ignoring the ones raised by others.

Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav expressed his resentment over the railway minister not bringing in a provision for construction of a proposed railway line in Uttar Pradesh to link his constituency Mainpur with Etawah.

“Former prime minister H D Deve Gowda and the then Railway Minister Ram Vilas Paswan had made an announcement in this regard in 1996. Former railway minister Pawan Bansal also made a promise here later in 2011-12 but nothing was done. Four kilometre railway line is yet to be constructed. What is this? Do think it’s a small issue?” a visibly angry Yadav said.

He accused the government of not bringing any provision for construction of the proposed railway line under a conspiracy because “Mainpur is my constituency”.

Nitish Kumar was the only railway minister who made efforts to improve railway infrastructure in his Mainpuri constituency.

Yadav used to opportunity to appreciate Janata Dal-United (JD-U) supremo and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for his contributions in improvement of railway infrastructure during his term as Railway Minister at the centre.

“It was only Nitish Kumar who did some work (when he was Railway Minister,” he underlined.

Yadav’s appreciation for Kumar’s tenure as railway minister comes at a time when many regional parties including JD-U are making efforts to form a third front. Yadav has been pitching for such a political front since long, saying his party will play a crucial role in formation of next government at the Centre.

“The railway minister has accommodated the demands of Congress members only to make them happy. He has ignored the demands made by Opposition members. I want to level this charge on the Railway Minister through you (Speaker Meira Kumar),” BJP leader Arjun Ram Meghwal said, complaining that his demand for a Railway services between Bikaner, Rajasthan and Bangalore, Karnataka was not fulfilled. 

Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj complained of slow pace of Bina- Bhopal Memu train, urging the railway minister to  ensure it was not run as passenger train.

She took a dig at the government over the ruckus created by the Congress members including some of the Union Ministers in the House, saying “What kind government is this. Prime Minister is sitting in the House and his Ministers are in the Well.”

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