The violence in Bihar where a train was torched fuelled sharp exchanges between Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and former railway minister Lalu Prasad who was today accused of introducing numerous passenger halts in the state without sanction.
"By creating several halts without ensuring permission from the Railway Board, Prasad has put present railway minister (Mamata Banerjee) in the dock", Kumar said.
"The Railways, in the previous government, functioned in Lalu's style. The RJD leader, through oral orders created these halts without the nod of the Railway board", he said.
Prasad targeted the chief minister following yesterday's violence at the Khusrupur when thousands of angry villagers torched six train compartments and the railway station there after the announcement that the passenger halts were being withdrawn. The mob also uprooted tracks in the vicinity under Danapur division.
Blaming Nitish for being "unable" to handle the (law and order) matter deftly, Prasad said , "Nitish should have handled the issue. He should have visualised that such things could happen. His officers should have been cautious. It's the responsibility of the state's rail police to take care of these things (attack on trains),"
Mamata Banerjee, who ordered a departmental inquiry into the incident, withdrew the order saying it was not done with the knowledge of the Railway Board.
It was evident from Banerjee's statement that after taking over as the railway minister she had done nothing which could provoke such violence, the chief minister said.