Assam's Chief Minister announces a 10-year waiting period for 'Miya' community votes, stressing the need for transformative changes and expressing gratitude for their support.
Rubbishing the claims being circulated on social media that around 3,000 people had died during the time when Mamata Banerjee was the railways minister, she said it was most unfortunate that to cover up its own faults the saffron party was now discussing what happened in the past.
Mamata speculated that the news is being circulated either by the BJP, the central government or the railways ministry. Miss Banerjee said on 28 May, 2010, 140 people had died in a rail accident in Gyaneshwari Express. “The CBI was handed over the case but no reports have come out as yet. The CPM and the Leftist extremist groups were responsible for the accident,” she alleged. Again in Sainthia in Birbhum, 66 people had died.
On 2 December, 2010, 52 people died in a railway accident. “It is most unfortunate that the BJP is doing politics with the number of deaths. They have mentioned Nitish ji and Laloo ji and it is quite possible that they will refer to the Battle of Plassey or the Sepoy Mutiny.”
Miss Banerjee clearly maintained “I am against doing politics when such a tragic incident has taken place. But the BJP has forced me to talk about politics. I have not questioned how many people died in the Godhra incident when a train was set on fire,” she asked.
Miss Banerjee categorically said as the Union railways minister she had made arrangements to instal anticollision devices in trains. “I went to the Konkan Railway and the device was tested. I know the railways ministry better as I was minister for three years. I could read it from the back of my palm.
During my time modernisation in the signalling system took place and steps were taken to depute persons at the unmanned level crossings. Even during the construction of Delhi Metro, Sheilaji (Sheila Dikshit) and I sat with the officials and the differences were sorted out.” She questioned how many central teams have visited the site.
The railways’ safety team needs three months to investigate. Miss Banerjee accused that over the years, no development in the railways has taken place. “The Centre talks big, but does not do anything to improve safety and security of the passengers. We want to know where the engines of Vande Bharat Express were made?” she remarked.
Asked to comment on clubbing the railway budget with the main budget, she said, “When character is lost, everything is lost. The railways has lost its character and these accidents are examples of that.”