Bihar Chief Minister and former Railway Minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday termed the Railway budget 2008-09 as "directionless" and said it was a pure play of figures.
Reacting to the Railway budget presented by Lalu Prasad, Kumar told reporters on the assembly premises that he (Lalu) was trying to create an illusion in people's mind by claiming to be the master of railway turnaround.
"He is trying to mislead the people by stating that the Railways was running in loss during the NDA regime at the Centre but he is reaping what the NDA government had sowed," Kumar said, adding Prasad, has in fact turned the fare and freight policy "topsy turvy".
The Railway minister should know that Railways was never running in loss, the Chief Minister said adding that the NDA government had not only squared up dividend and deferred dividend (approximately Rs 3,000 crore) but had also returned Rs 249 crore taken as loan from the exchequer.
The railway minister has only fooled people by "manoeuvring statistics", Kumar said and added if volumes for the Railways have increased its not because of Prasad's efforts but because of the country's economic growth.
The Railways under the leadership of Prasad has thrown away safety norms as also Railway Safety Commission recommendations by increasing the "axle load" on tracks.
The track structure design now in use could not sustain the higher axle load for long and if immediate remedial measures were not taken, the Railways would face disastrous consequences very soon, Kumar, Prasad's predecessor in the Railway ministry, said.