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Lalu's new measures to placate Left MPs

Lalu assured Left that the Govt would neither privatise Railways nor give it in the hands of multi-nationals.

india Updated: Mar 03, 2006 17:22 IST

In an apparent 'please all' exercise, Railway Minister Lalu Prasad announced a slew of new services and schemes in the Lok Sabha on Friday.

The measures were taken to placate MPs, including those from Left parties agitated over not taking the East-West corridor upto Kolkata in the 2006-07 Railway Budget.

Lalu Yadav assured the Left parties that the Government would neither privatise the Railways nor give it in the hands of multi-nationals.

At the same time, Lalu assured the parties that no steps would be taken to retrench workers.

"Even if the whole world becomes our enemy, our friendship will remain intact," he said quoting a Hindi couplet to send a strong message to the Left parties.

Replying to the three-day debate on the Rail Budget, the Minister announced starting a new train from Motihari in Bihar, where Mahatma Gandhi had launched an agitation, to other places.

He, however, did not not elaborate the route to be taken by the new train.

The House passed vote on account for payment of salaries and other expenses and the relevant appropriation bill of over Rs 18,662 crore by voice vote.

Prasad announced that 1,200 bogies would be attached to various trains to meet the needs of the handicapped.

Special facilities for parking, ramp, toilets and drinking water taps will be provided at various stations for handicapped.

First Published: Mar 03, 2006 16:09 IST