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HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, March 15, 2012
The UPA, facing flak for the spiralling cost of essential commodities, on Wednesday came under fresh Opposition attack over the rail fare hike that they said would further hurt the commoners.


Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley said the government intends to meet the shortfall of revenue by passing the burden on to the people through increase in fare and freight charges.

The BJP also termed the rail budget as intended to deceive the people. "We expect the government to be straight forward and candid...This is a budget intended to deceive the people." http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/Popup/2012/3/15_03_12-metro15g.jpg

The Left parties slammed the hike in passenger fares, saying it came close on the heels of rise in freight charges for commodities like coal, fertilizers, food-grains, notified earlier.

CPI (M) leader Sitaram Yechury also questioned the "plethora of promises" made by former minister Mamata Banerjee. "The silence of Trivedi on these promises confirms that announcements made by Banerjee in 2010 and 2011 were all gimmicks".

Congress steered clear of the Trinamool objections to rail fare hike by stating the matter is up to Parliament to decide.

Former Railway Minister and RJD leader Lalu Prasad Yadav said the hike would burden common people. "Railway which used to be like a Jersey cow has been reduced to a cow whose milk has dried up."

Meanwhile, the Congress party said there is a need to build consensus on fare hike.

"Congress is not opposed to it but as of now we are trying to create a consensus. It is up to the MPs to give their opinion," party spokesperson Rashid Alvi said. PTI inputs