NEW DELHI: RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav today wrote to Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, asking him to reconsider the computer-based rail exam process and allot centres to poor candidates from Bihar near their home towns, alleging that they have to undergo mental and physical harassment.
Alleging that the candidates have to travel more than 1,500 km to reach their centres for their August 9 exam, Yadav, in the letter said that most of them belonged to poor families and each has to spend around Rs 2,000 to Rs 3,000 just for railway tickets.
He also said that most of the centres are not accessible by direct trains and candidates have to travel for two to three days and change multiple trains to reach their centres.
"Will the candidates be in any state of mind to appear for the exams after travelling so much? Also with the reputation of the Indian Railways of forever being late, candidates have to reach their centres two days in advance. Then they will have to look for a place to stay. "In some cases there are only trains once a week in that case candidates have to reach their destination a week in advance. In these cases women candidates will almost not sit for the exam," Yadav said.
He questioned Goyal on the need for causing such harassment for the candidates.
"What is the railways' compulsion or plan that made it necessary for them to make poor candidates from the state spend Rs 5,000 and cause them mental and physical harassment in order to appear for a test?
"Couldn't the exam be held in their own home states?" he asked.
Yadav requested the minister to reconsider the exam process and allot centres to candidates which are near to them.
He asked the minister to take a sympathetic and sensitive step towards the poor applicants and change the allotted centres otherwise he would be compelled to take to the streets in protest.
Earlier yesterday, the railways had issued a clarification that more than 71 per cent candidates appearing for the August 9 exams for the posts of assistant loco pilot and technicians have been allocated centres within 200 km of their cities.
In a statement, the railways said while 34 lakh candidates have been allocated seats in the same city or in nearby cities within 200 km, about 40 lakh or 83 per cent have been given seats within 500 km.