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HindustanTimes Thu,31 Jul 2014

Ex-govt to blame for rail fare hike: Minister

IANS  New Delhi, June 22, 2014
First Published: 18:27 IST(22/6/2014) | Last Updated: 20:14 IST(22/6/2014)

Railway minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda on Sunday said the former Congress-led government was to blame for the hike in railway fares, and questioned the opposition criticism of the government now.

Gowda, in an interview to CNN-IBN, said the fare hike was being politicised.

"As far as railway is concerned, the whole country - whether BJP or Congress - felt there should be certain reforms. Today, all those who are opposing this hike were all partners with UPA during the presentation of the budget (when UPA raised railway fares). Nobody opened their mouths at that time... now everyone is shouting... why are they politicising the railways?" Gowda asked.

He blamed the hike on the previous Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government.

"There was an exercise by my predecessor to tackle losses... and it was not implemented... How can they now say this (BJP) government is doing something wrong?" Gowda said.

"They had consulted the then prime minister (Manmohan Singh). I have documents where the prime minister has said from May 1, it (rail fare hike) should come into effect," Gowda said in the interview.

Asked about his earlier criticism of previous railway ministers on rail fare hike when the BJP was in opposition, Gowda said: "I haven't criticised him personally, I was in the state, as opposition leader."


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