Banerjee report: Nitish rules out resignation
The Banerjee report castigates Nitish for not ordering a probe into Sabarmati Express train carnage at Godhra when he was Railway minister.india Updated: Mar 07, 2006 17:30 IST
Rejecting the Opposition demand for his resignation following a Railway ministry-appointed committee report on Godhra train carnage, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday said the panel was formed 'for political reasons'.
The report castigates Nitish for not ordering a probe into Sabarmati Express train carnage at Godhra when he was Railway minister.
"The UC Banerjee Committee was constituted to probe the Sabarmati Express train fire for purely political reasons. There was no culpability on my part as the then Railway minister and so there is no question of my resignation," Kumar said making a statement in the Bihar Assembly.
Bihar Assembly was adjourned once in the pre-lunch session amidst a din over the Godhra panel report.
Stating that the Banerjee committee report had not been made public and that only excerpts from it were published in some newspapers, Kumar said the panel did not follow 'the principle of natural justice' by denying him the opportunity to depose before it.
"The committee has reportedly held that I did not immediately order an inquiry by the Commissioner of Railway Safety. Under the Railway Act, the Commissioner of Railway Safety suo moto starts a statutory probe immediately after a mishap for which no permission is required. Moreover, it functions not under the Railway ministry but the Ministry of Civil Aviation," he said, amidst a noisy walkout by opposition RJD, Congress and LJP members.