Didi cancels Lalu’s pass | india | Hindustan Times
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Didi cancels Lalu’s pass

Railways minister Mamata Banerjee snubbed her predecessor Lalu Prasad by reversing the benefits of free travel for former rail ministers under the ‘Golden Pass’ scheme, reports Srinand Jha.

india Updated: Jun 12, 2009 00:27 IST
Srinand Jha

Railways minister Mamata Banerjee (54) snubbed her predecessor Lalu Prasad on his 62nd birthday on Thursday.

On May 19, three days before demitting office, Prasad expanded the benefits of free travel for former rail ministers under the ‘Golden Pass’ scheme.

Banerjee plans to reverse that order. “Politicians must not corner facilities meant for the common people,” she said.

Her reactions came after Ram Naik (75), a former rail minister, asked her to withdraw the order. “The issuance of such orders by a lame duck government amounts to misuse of powers and promotes an unethical practice,” Naik said in a June 9 letter to Banerjee.

“I’m in complete agreement with Naik,” said Banerjee.

The Golden Pass entitles lifelong free rail travel to ex-rail ministers (along with one companion) in the First AC class.

Prasad’s orders provided for additional facilities to former rail ministers: free travel in the First AC Class along with three companions, besides an attendant in Second AC Sleeper Class.

Prasad issued the orders three days after the poll results, when it became clear he would not become the rail minister again.