Sensing failure of 'Gandhigiri' during a protest launched a month ago to restart the Ferozepur-Chandigarh train, Youth Congress and the National Students Union of India (NSUI) have now decided to further intensify the agitation with the 'gherao' of Union railway minister Suresh Prabhu in a fortnight.
It may be mentioned here that during the fag-end of the last UPA regime, a train between Ferozepur and Chandigarh was launched, but, later on, for reasons best known to the rail authorities, it was discontinued.
After a great hue and cry over the matter, during the rail budget in July, a Ferozepur-Chandigarh train was announced, but so far the train service has failed to resume.
In the last week of October, an agitation was jointly launched by Youth Congress, People's party of Punjab (PPP), Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and other local non-governmental organisations (NGOs) by holding a peaceful protest in front of the local railway station daily to demand resumption of the train.
Protesters even exercised 'Gandhigiri' and handed over 'red roses' to Naresh Chand Goyal, Divisional Railway Manager, Ferozepur , but to no avail.
Kulbir Singh Zira, president, Youth Congress, Khadoor Sahib, alleged that the state government had failed to make any effort for the commissioning of this important train for residents of this border area.
Gurbhej Singh Tibbi, general secretary, Youth Congress, said that so far they have resorted to all peaceful measures available, but now it's high time to further intensify the protest and 'gherao' the railway minister at New Delhi.
"There are a number of students, patients or people from all sections of society, who have to often travel to the state capital for their respective works and a train route was a better affordable measure," said Tibbi.
It is worth mentioning that the agitation for the Ferozepur-Chandigarh train, which had started on October 27, has garnered generous support from people of all walks of life.
Captain Amarinder Singh,Congress deputy leader in the Lok Sabha, had blamed Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal for delay in the resumption of the train service between Chandigarh and Ferozepur via Ludhiana.
"Ideally, the CM should have pressed for the early start of the train when it had been approved in the rail budget," remarked Amarinder and added, "But, knowing the Badals' business interests which will be affected by this train, they will be the last to allow it to run". remarked Captain.
The DRM said that so far they had not received any order from higher railway authorities to run the train.