Congress-NCP blast Railway Budget for ignoring Maharashtra

Mumbai : The Congress-NCP government in Maharashtra Tuesday blasted the Railway Budget for virtually ignoring the plight of Mumbaikars as well as the people of the state.

“Railway Budget disappointed Maharashtra,” Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan tweeted soon after the NDA government’s maiden budget was tabled in parliament.

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Deputy Chief Minister and Nationalist Congress Party leader Ajit Pawar found the budget disappointing for the people of the city and the state.

“People had a lot of expectations. The Shiv Sena and BJP leaders had made tall promises and assurances. However, they don’t reflect in the budget,” he said.

Chavan said the budget failed to address the specific issues of Maharashtra and left everybody “unimpressed”.

He said the needs of the Mumbai Urban Transport Project were also not addressed.

The MUTP project includes the crucial Churchgate-Virar elevated corridor and a similar plan for Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus-Kalyan, both pending with the Centre.

“Last month’s partial rollback of tariff hike was temporary. The budget indicates that there would be a hike in three months… during the regime of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the disinvestment procedure was started… this budget will continue the same,” state NCP chief Sunil Tatkare said.

NCP state spokesman Nawab Malik alleged that under the garb of PPP and FDI, the Centre was proposing to privatise the railways which would end recruitments and lead to unemployment.

State Congress president Manikrao Thakre alleged that Maharashtra was ignored as the people strongly protested last month’s steep tariff hike.

“This budget is very disappointing for Mumbai, as there is practically nothing when so many huge projects are pending,” said Rail Parishad president Bipin Gandhi.

“The only concrete announcement is that Mumbai will get 864 additional state-of-the-art EMUs over the next couple of years. It appears Mumbaikars are being virtually punished for opposing the recent hike in suburban fares,” he said.

However, supporting the budget, BJP leader Kirit Somaiya said the proposals have to be viewed in totality and those who commented against it do not seem to have read the full budget.