Mamata keeps mum

Mamata keeps mum

The uncharacteristic silence of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee over the Railway Budget has given rise to speculations of a tacit understanding between the Trinamool Congress and the BJP.

The Opposition parties say that the Trinamool chief has cut a deal with the Centre to stop them from talking about her party’s involvement in the multi-crore Saradha scam before the Assembly elections in Bengal.

Mamata, with two stints as railway minister, has always been vocal about Railway budgets presented by most other Railway ministers, particularly when they belonged to parties she was not aligned with. On Thursday, however, she maintained stony silence over the matter and there was not even a tweet forthcoming from her. The only comment was from Trinamool spokesperson and Rajya Sabha MP, Derek O’Brien.

Issuing a statement in Delhi that marked Suresh Prabhu’s Rail Budget as “a big zero” with “nothing new” in it, O’Brien said, “The Railway Budget is a big zero. Last year, it had no depth. This year too, nothing new at all.” Talking about Prabhu’s decision to keep passenger fares and freight charges unchanged, the Trinamool spokesperson said, “Zero plus zero equals zero.”

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