BJP National Secretary to Chair Railway Passenger Amenities Committee, 2G Whistleblower Aseervatham Achary Member
CHENNAI: The Railway Ministry has reconstituted the Passenger Amenities Committee with BJP's National Secretary H Raja as Chairman, while recent entrant to the saffron party and 2G Spectrum whistleblower Aseervatham Achary finds a place in the 16-member national body.
The committee members, who are likely to assume charge next week, would be tasked to check ten issues including general cleanliness, drinking water arrangements, security of passengers and leakage of railway revenues due to unauthorised travel. Notification of the reconstitution of the committee was issued on February 18.
The number of members has been increased to 16, 10 more than the previous panel constituted in 2013 during the UPA regime. According to sources, each member is likely to be allotted 17 railway zones in the country. Sub-groups among the members are expected to be formed to look into the ten terms of references in view of the vast subjects that they cover.
However, the appointments has raised the issue of politicalisation of the railway body, in the light of accommodating Raja and Achary from Tamil Nadu, which is due for elections in a few months. Raja is also in-charge of (BJP) party affairs in another poll-bound State of Kerala.
Speaking to 'Express' Achary refuted charges that they were political appointees. "If you take my case, I have served the railways for 24 years. Though we all belong to a political party, each and every member in the committee is an expert in their respective domain," he told on the phone.
Achary is a Research Fellow of the BJP's think tank, Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation.