The union rail budget has sparked war of words between the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party. While chief minister Virbhadra Singh slammed the budget, former chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal and his parliamentarian son - Anurag Thakur appreciated it.
“Rail budget was nothing more than a mere disappointment for the people of Himachal Pradesh,” said Virbhadra Singh, while reacting to the rail budget.
The rail budget, he said, neither contains the proposal for extension of rail lines nor the conversion of existing tracks into broad gauge. Other than assurances by the NDA government, the state got nothing, he added.
“I had personally pursued the state issues for extension of the Bhanupalli-Bilaspur-Beri rail line via Manali upto Leh, which was important from strategic point of view and also the Bhanupali- Bilaspur- Beri line upto Pathankot passing through the lower belts of the state and providing connectivity to the people of lower hills of Himachal Pradesh,” said the chief minister, adding that a rail link was also proposed for the industrial belt of Baddi-Barotiwala from Pinjore on the Chandigarh-Shimla rail line, but nothing except promises were given to the people of Himachal.
“Last year, during the UPA regime, a few surveys for new lines/extensions were announced in the rail budget but that also failed to find any mention this time,” said the chief minister.
Himachal Pradesh State Youth Congress chief Vikramaditya Singh termed the budget as hollow and a budget for the rich.