A day after a train derailed in Assam following a blast, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday asked minister of state for railways Mukul Roy to visit the site but he virtually defied him, arguing that the track had been cleared and there was nothing for him to inspect.
Singh, who holds the Railways portfolio, asked Roy to visit Rangiya where six coaches of Guwahati-Puri Express derailed on Sunday night after a blast injuring over 100 people, PMO sources said.
However, Roy did not go to the site although he was in neighbouring West Bengal.
Sources said Roy, who belongs to Trinamool Congress, told the Prime Minister's Office that the affected railway track had been cleared and injured moved to hospital and that there was nothing for him to inspect.
It was not clear whether he conveyed the same to the Prime Minister.
When contacted, Roy said, "I have nothing to say. I suggest you contact the General Manager of the NF Railway about this."
Northeast Frontier (NF) Railway general manager M R Chandra said, "The minister (Roy) has already offered to visit the derailment site near Rangiya. But we told him that the ground reality is such that the situation is almost normal and there is no death except for some injuries."
Chandra told PTI that Roy had been told that rescue and relief operations were almost over and the damaged track would be restored within 16 to 20 hours.