Even before railway minister Pawan Kumar Bansal could finish reading his budget speech on Tuesday, opposition parties stormed to Lok Sabha well to protest the "discrimination" against some states in the budget.
In a rare coincidence, the CPM and the Trinamool MPs protested together.
While Trinamool accused Bansal of "neglecting" Bengal, the Left MPs like MB Rajesh demanded quick completion of the Palakkad railway factory. The BJP too joined the fray.Key outside supporters of the UPA - Samajwadi Party and the BSP - also expressed disappointment but are unlikely to vote against the budget in Lok Sabha.
SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav termed it the most anti-people budget in his political life and added, "This is a budget for Congress. Rae Bareli (Congress chief Sonia Gandhi's Lok Sabha seat) got new trains but Bundelkhand and Poorvanchal were ignored."
Alleging that the UPA government "talks big but does not deliver" BSP chief Mayawati cried foul over budget proposal to review the freight twice a year.
"This will affect the poor and the middle class. It will also affect prices of commodities as they are transported on rail," she said.
The BJP came down heavily on Bansal for presenting what they termed as "Rae Bareli budget" for awarding projects and new trains to Sonia Gandhi's constituency.
Alleging that hike in freight rates would further add to the inflation, BJP chief Rajnath Singh said, "This budget is nothing but eyewash as the passenger fares have already been hiked." Singh also slammed the proposed increase in Tatkal reservation charges and superfast charges.