Castigating Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee for floating the "conspiracy" theory on the Sainthia train crash, CPI(M) today said the Trinamool Congress chief was trying to absolve herself of her responsibilities and "politicking" over a serious mishap.
Pointing out that even Home Minister P Chidambaram has regretted the enormous delay in rescue and relief teams reaching the accident site, CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury said "we too have been wanting to know for a long time what happened to the high-speed crane trains which should reach accident sites very fast".
"The delay in relief teams reaching the site has caused the loss of several lives. And instead, (Mamata) is floating the conspiracy theory. The Home Minister has for the second time wanted to know why there was a delay in relief and rescue operations," he said in response to questions.
Questions need to be asked as to where these crane trains were located and why was there a "major delay" in relief trains reaching the site, he said.
Earlier on Thursday, Home Minister P Chidambaram said he was informed that the first relief team left for the site about two and half hours after the accident and the second team could leave only seven hours later.
Asked about Union Minister Mukul Roy reportedly charging the CPI(M) with "scientific killing", Yechury said "it is not only ridiculous but absurd. We cannot stoop to that level. We are studying the question of privilege as such a public statement has come from a member of the Union Council of Ministers".
He said during the Jnaneshwari accident, Mamata had first spoken of a bomb explosion which was refuted by the Home Ministry. "She is politicking over a grave tragedy. She is not only doing a disservice to the nation, but to the Constitution as well on which she has taken oath".
Yechury said the Trinamool Congress has been "adopting such tactics to cover-up their misdoings and absolve themselves by making such wild allegations".
Referring to TC leaders' statements that the Jnaneshwari accident had taken place days ahead of the civic polls to indicate "conspiracy", the CPI(M) leader said "but who gained these elections? It was the Trinamool. So, the needle of suspicion should be on them."
Yechury had earlier asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to "take a call" on the issue of railway safety over an unprecedented number of train accidents and charged Banerjee with being "highly irresponsible" for suggesting sabotage behind the Sainthia accident.
"You have a Minister whose attention is elsewhere and the country is paying the price for that," he had said, adding "this is something which cannot be accepted in the collective responsibility of the Cabinet. The Prime Minister has to take a call".