BHUBANESWAR: Meeting of nine BJD MPs with Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu at New Delhi less than 48 hours before the presentation of Railway Budget to submit a memorandum for Odisha has come in for sharp criticism from the Opposition political parties.
“The intention of BJD is to demand and later blame the Centre,” Leader of the Opposition Narsingh Mishra said and added that it is only meant for propaganda. Everybody knows what changes can be made in the Railway Budget now, Mishra said and asked why timely steps were not taken in this regard.
Either the Assembly committee or a delegation comprising leaders from all political parties should have met the Railway Minister with the State’s demand much earlier, he said.
The BJP has also come down heavily on the ruling BJD for submitting a memorandum to the Railway Minister only two days before presentation of the Budget. Even though Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announced that land will be given free for Khurda-Balangir railway line project, the State Government has not acquired even an inch of land during the last one year, BJP spokesperson Sajjan Sharma said.
BJD MP from Sambalpur Nagendra Pradhan, who was part of the delegation which met Prabhu, was hopeful after the meeting that the State will get a good allocation in 2015-16 Railway Budget.
“We submitted a memorandum demanding allocation of Rs 3200 crore for Odisha in 2015-16,” Pradhan said.
Pradhan said emphasis was on Khurda-Balangir railway line which has been delayed for low budgetary provision so far. The other projects which figured in the meeting were doubling of Talcher-Sambalpur line, completion of ongoing work on Puri-Bhubaneswar section and conversion of Bhubaneswar railway station into a world class one.