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HindustanTimes Thu,18 Sep 2014

Protesters block railway tracks, burn PM effigy to protest rail fare hike

PTI  Lucknow, June 21, 2014
First Published: 19:06 IST(21/6/2014) | Last Updated: 19:09 IST(21/6/2014)

Congress and Samajwadi Party workers on Saturday blocked railway tracks and burnt effigies of Narendra Modi and railway minister Sadanand Gowda while protesting against the "steep" hike in rail fares announced by the government in its first tough steps to revive the economy.

Samajwadi Party workers burnt Modi's effigy in front of the Kashi Railway station in his home turf Varanasi and shouted slogans.

In Lucknow, Congress workers led by former district president Amit Srivastava Tyagi staged a demonstration infront of Uttar Pradesh Vidhan Sabha and torched an effigy of union railway minister Sadanand Gowda.

Tyagi said, "the PM had promised people to cut down inflation but the rail fare hike has exposed him and his party."

He said the move will have an adverse effect upon the people who are already battling relentless price rise.

Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh Congress committee termed the move as "betrayal" by the NDA-led Union government and announced that it would stage a state-wide dharna tomorrow.

Scores of flag-waving angry SP protesters in Allahabad thronged Prayag Railway station this morning, shouted slogans and blocked railway traffic, forcing the Ganga-Gomti passenger train to halt for close to half-an-hour.

SP spokesperson Dan Bahadur Singh slammed the hike, saying it tantamount to "betrayal" of trust that the people of the country had placed in the BJP.

In Mathura, Congress leader Pradeep Mathur said, "the unprecedented hike in freight rates would lead to overall price rise."

"BJP in its Lok Sabha election campaign had stressed upon good governance. However, it is otherwise."

In Kanpur, Congress workers held placards, shouted slogans and burnt union railway minister's effigy demanding an immediate rollback in the fares.

Meanwhile, union minister of state for railways Manoj Sinha on Saturday told reporters in Lucknow that the hike decision was necessary for the Railways, which was incurring huge losses and said the decision had been taken by the previous UPA regime as part of interim rail budget.


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