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Who said what on railway fare hike

Key Congress allies join hands with Oppositon to slam move, say won't support hike

BS Reporter  |  New Delhi 

A passenger looks through the window of a train in New Delhi. File photo

Cutting across party lines, the Opposition slammed the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government’s move to raise railway passenger fares for all classes of travel. Basic fares for all categories, except a small segment of upper-class and air-conditioned travel, have remained unchanged for almost 10 years. As a result, the Indian Railways’ losses in passenger operations are estimated to have risen to Rs 25,000 crore in 2012-13, a four-fold increase over 2004-05.

Business Standard hand picks India’s political heavyweights as well as top economists’ reactions on the hike



Coming down heavily on the government's move, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said the move was “unacceptable” and “atrocious”.“The government goes on increasing the price but they do not increase amenities and safety of the railways." 

Prakash Javedekar, BJP spokesperson

The decision to increase the fare just before the Budget Session of Parliament “exposes the anti-people and anti-democratic face of the government.”

Rajnath Singh, ex-BJP president



DMK, a key constituent of UPA, said it would not support any hike that might affect the poor and the party MPs would take up the latest rail fare increase issue with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

"DMK will not support any hike that will hit the poor." 

M Karunanidhi, DMK chief



Trinamool Congress boss Mamata Banerjee criticised the hike in rail fare terming it "anti-people" and questioned whether it was ethical for the government to do so before the budget.

"Railway fares for all classes have been increased on an average by 20 per cent. In the last budget there was an increased of about 8 per cent in AC I and AC II." 

Mamata Banerjee said in a Facebook post

Former railway minister Mukul Roy criticised the UPA-led Union Government’s decision to hike Railway fares and dubbed it as an “anti-people” move.

Roy, who is the general secretary of All India Trinamool Congress, said his party would protest against the increase in fares and hit the streets across West Bengal.

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Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati said the decision was against the common man. Demanding a rollback, Mayawati said hike in railway fares was "one of the many anti-common man policies of the government".



Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal slammed the hike in railway fares while accusing the government of being "least sensitive" to hardships of the common man.



AIADMK supremo and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa also criticised the hike and demanded its immediate rollback.



The Politburo said the hike in the fares of second class, sleeper and suburban fares was "particularly unjustified as they will burden the ordinary people who are already suffering from all-round price rise."



Senior Communist Party of India leaders Gurudas Dasgupta and D. Raja termed the decision anti-people and called for a rollback.

Dasgupta flayed the government for adding to the burden on the people who were already reeling under increasing prices of essential commodities. “It is a government which cannot perform,” he said.

According to Raja the railways should have found other ways of raising resources instead of further burdening the common man.



Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said it will cause great inconvenience to the common people. He also expressed surprise over the decision just one month ahead of the presentation of the Railways budget in the parliament. “It is difficult to understand”, he added.



Industry body CII director general Chandrajit Banerjee said: "This marginal increase is going to be important in helping the railways to reduce its losses. Also, this will lead to more safety and better services for passengers."



Assocham president Rajkumar Dhoot said hike had become inevitable in the wake of rising cost of operations. "Railway infrastructure was in dire strait and the increase in the passenger fare was necessary to bring the railways back on track," he said.

First Published: Thu, January 10 2013. 14:08 IST