Oppn dubs rail budget as disappointing | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Oppn dubs rail budget as disappointing

Major opposition parties and state Govts today dubbed the Rail Budget as “disappointing” and accused Railway Minister Lalu Prasad of “playing to the gallery” in an election year -- a criticism refuted by the RJD supremo.

delhi Updated: Feb 14, 2009 10:25 IST

Major opposition parties and state governments today dubbed the Rail Budget as “disappointing” and accused Railway Minister Lalu Prasad of “playing to the gallery” in an election year -- a criticism refuted by the RJD supremo.

BJP MP Shahnawaz Hussain said his party had expected a further cut in passenger fares and accused the UPA government of taking credit for projects initiated by NDA government.

“None of the promises made in the last railway budget has been fulfilled,” he said, adding that there was no reference to safety and cleanliness.

Describing the budget as “populist”, BJP general secretary Ananth Kumar said the railway minister has presented this “please all” budget to garner votes.

The CPI(M) charged the Railway Ministry with raising passenger fares and freight charges through the “backdoor” while “playing to the gallery” in an election year by announcing a cut in fares for second-class and AC travel.

“One month before the budget in January, freight rates for agricultural commodities, iron ore and steel were increased substantially. This has not been reflected in the budget,” senior CPI(M) leader Basudeb Acharia said.

Rejecting the charges that the interim budget was “Bihar-centric”, Lalu Prasad said he had tried to give justice to all states.