Jaya flays Rail budget; says Mamata's focus is on vote banks | india | Hindustan Times
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Jaya flays Rail budget; says Mamata's focus is on vote banks

india Updated: Jul 03, 2009 23:30 IST

Charging Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee with neglecting South India, particularly Tamil Nadu, in the budget, AIADMK leader Jayalalithaa on Friday said she appears to be more focussed "on her vote bank" as most of the major projects have been "earmarked" for West Bengal.

"Banerjee's focus appears to be on her vote bank. Almost all major projects announced by her are earmarked for places like Lalgarh, Nandigram and Singur in West Bengal," she said in a statement in Chennai on Friday.

"South India, particularly Tamil Nadu, has not figured in her scheme of things at all," Jayalalithaa said.

In the process, infrastructure development and expansion
of world's largest railway network appear to have been
sidelined, she charged.

"Without substantial investment in these key areas, the proposals announced by Mamata Banerjee will be largely decorative and lacking in long-term perspective," she said.

Banerjee's presentation was more in the "feel good" vein and did not deal with hard numbers, "making one wonder whether the positive picture of a profit-making Railway setup painted by the UPA during the Lalu Prasad era was a mirage and whether a cover-up operation is now under way", she said.

"In a nutshell, the Union Railway Minister has merely wielded a magical brush and gives a non-existent gloss to harsh realities," she said, adding "a lot more was definitely expected from Mamata Banerjee".