The Railways on Tuesday allegedly ran a special train from Bina to Bhopal to help BJP lawmaker Poonam Mahajan catch a flight from Bhopal to Mumbai. In a statement issued on Thursday, railway authorities denied the allegations, saying no special train was operated for the Mumbai North-Central MP. They said Mahajan only travelled in the special train along with the senior railway officials who had also gone to attend the functions at Bina and Sagar.
According to sources, Mahajan had gone to Sagar, 180km from Bhopal, to attend an official function with minister of state for railways Manoj Sinha, Union minister Harsimrat Kaur and senior railway officials. They later went to Bina for the foundation laying ceremony of a road over bridge.
As per protocol, the Railways had sent a special train from Habibganj to Sagar via Bina for Manoj Sinha. The train was to return to Habibganj with the minister. The minister was to catch a flight from Bhopal to Delhi but due to a busy schedule in Bina, he cancelled the plan and decided to take a train to Delhi from Bina. His special coach was attached to Gondwana Express at Bina which left for Delhi, sources said.
Mahajan also had to catch a flight from Bhopal to Mumbai at 9.30pm. As she was running late, the Railways allegedly made special arrangements for her and ran a train with two coaches from Bina to Bhopal. The coaches were detached from the train which had been sent for Sinha.
The special train left Bina station at 7pm and reached Bhopal in an hour and 50 minutes. The journey usually takes about two hours. The lawmaker left for Bhopal airport to catch her flight for Mumbai at 9.30pm.
Surendra Yadav, chief public relation officer, West Central Railways, Jabalpur, said: “The railways didn’t do anything against the norms and regulations by running a special train for the MP. She only travelled in the special train along with the senior railway officials who had also gone to attend the functions at Bina and Sagar. No separate special train was run by the railways. It was the same train which was sent for the minister of state for railways as per the protocol.”