NEW DELHI: Both Houses of Parliament functioned till late hours in a bid to wrap up Budget discussions to allow the window to the government to push pending legislative businesses. As the Lok Sabha took up discussions on demands for grants for the Ministry of Railways, the Opposition slammed the government for making tall claims for future even as past promises remained unfulfilled promises.
Initiating the discussion, leader of the Congress in the House Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury took potshots at the government by reminding it of the Budget promises made by former railway minister Suresh Prabhu. “What happened to the modernisation of 500 stations? What happened to tickets-on-demands by 2019 promised by Prabhu in his Budget speech? Now, you’re promising an investment of `50 lakh crore in railways in the next 10 years. Where will the money come from?” he asked.
DMK MP Kanimozi Karunanidhi said that it was a matter of national shame that the railways employed manual scavengers. “You may deny employing manual scavengers, but the fact is that they are working under the contractors of the railways. It’s a national shame amid claims of modernization,” she said. She also stated that Prabhu had made claims in the Lok Sabha while presenting Rail Budget earlier that over `1 lakh crore would be invested in the railways sourced from LIC, but the railways couldn’t utilise even Rs 30,000 crore taken from LIC.
Opposition MPs slammed the government for over banking on PPP mode for the modernization of railways. BJP’s Sunil Kumar Singh claimed that railways ministers during the UPA rule only announced projects which were being executed now by the NDA government.