'Khilafat Vote Bank': Vivek Agnihotri reacts as Mamata Banerjee ‘rakes up’ Godhra train burning

Jun 04, 2023 11:48 PM IST

Vivek Agnihotri reacted to Mamata Banerjee's statement in which she "raked up" the Godhra train burning while speaking on the Odisha triple-train collision.

Director Vivek Agnihotri, who is at the loggerheads with Mamata Banerjee over his film ‘The Kashmir Files’, on Sunday reacted to the West Bengal chief minister's statement in which she "raked up" the 2002 Godhra train burning while speaking on the deadly Odisha triple-train collision.

West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee and director Vivek Agnihotri
West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee and director Vivek Agnihotri

“Those who (BJP-led Central government) can change history, can change any number. Instead of standing with people, they are abusing me, Nitish ji, Lalu ji... How did a fire break out in a running train in Godhra?... So many people died, they should have at least sought an apology,” Banerjee hit out at the Centre at a press briefing on Sunday.

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Alleging that Godhra is being raked up to consolidate “Khilafat Vote Bank”, Agnihotri tweeted, “This appeasement will become more intense as 2024 elections come closer. 2024 is going to be the most communal elctions ever fought. Read this FORECAST (sic).”

Odisha train accident claimed the lives of 275 people and over 1,000 injured in Friday's accident, which is being described as one of the worst in the country.

Also Read: Ashwini Vaishnaw prays as train movement at Odisha crash site resumes| 10 points

Targeting the Centre over the changing death toll, Banjeer, at the briefing, said, “How come the information given by the railway ministry differs so much? The figures have been changing from morning to evening. Daal mein kuch kaala hai.”

“When yesterday he (Ashwini Vaishnaw) was present with me and I mentioned about anti-collision device, why didn't he open his mouth? 'Dal mein kuch kaala hai', we want the truth to come out,” the CM said.

Member of Operation and Business Development, Railway Board, Jaya Varma Sinha told reporters that according to the preliminary findings, there has been some issue with the signalling. “We are still waiting for the detailed report from the Commissioner of Railway Safety. Only Coromandal Express met with an accident. The train was at a speed of around 128 km/h,” she said.

She said due to a "signalling interference", the Coromandel Express met with an accident and its engine and coach crashed into a goods train laden with iron ore.

Mamata confronts Vaishaw

While interacting with the media along with Vaishaw at the accident site on Saturday Balasore district, Banerjee said she got information that the toll in the train crash might exceed 500. At this, Vaishaw responded, “As per the Odisha government's data, the death toll is 238.”

Banerjee then reiterated the figure claiming that 238 was Friday night's toll. “Rescue work in three coaches is still not complete, hence the toll would go up further,” she added.

Later in the evening, the railway minister, while reacting to Banerjee's statement, told the media, “It is very clear that our CRPC lays out a clear procedure and the state (Odisha) government has time to time accurate information. As of now, the accurate information (of toll) is 261. So, we want full transparency, this is not time to do politics, this is time to focus on making sure that restoration happens at the earliest.”

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