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HindustanTimes Sat,20 Dec 2014

SAD calls Rail budget as 'farewell budget' for UPA

PTI  Chandigarh, February 26, 2013
First Published: 18:36 IST(26/2/2013) | Last Updated: 19:27 IST(26/2/2013)

Ruling Shiromani Akali Dal on Tuesday termed the Railway budget as "farewell budget" of Congress-led UPA government as people had already decided to elect NDA to power in the next general elections.

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In a statement here, SAD president and deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal also criticised the proposal to set up a railway tariff regulatory authority saying fare hikes will be "outsourced" to the body which will undermine the authority of Parliament.

Badal rejected the claims that rail fares, which were increased in January this year, have not been increased in the budget and said hike in Tatkal, sleeper and other charges had increased the rail fare per ticket from Rs. 25 to Rs. 140.

"People cannot be befooled by this hoodwinking exercise," he said.

Badal said five per cent increase in rail freight charges would have cascading effect on inflation and crush the common man with escalating price rise.

He alleged that rail coach factory was first offered to Punjab and instead given to Haryana, which exposed the inherent bias of Congress towards the border state.

He said the chief minister had already offered free land for the proposed rail coach factory as demanded by Bansal, but despite this, it was not given to the state.

The deputy CM said Bansal had failed to announce Bathinda-Delhi Shatabadi despite assurance to MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal.

Badal said National Democratic Alliance would oppose the budget that was meant to challenge the authority of the Parliament.

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