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Rail route row: Rahul Sinha slams TMC for ‘politicising’ matter

Statesman News Service | Kolkata |

Trinamul Congress-led state government is politicising a routine railway matter by falsely claiming that the railway ministry wants to stop some railway routes of the state permanently, BJP national secretary Rahul Sinha said on Monday.

“The railway ministry has never claimed that those routes will be closed permanently, but it suggested that the expenditure of those routes for operating trains could be shared by the Centre and the state government,” said the BJP national secretary. He also said this is not the decision of the railway ministry.

“Comptroller and auditor general (CAG) mentioned the name of some non-profitable routes and gave some routine proposals. This is not the decision of the railway ministry. But TMC is politicising this routine issue to strengthen its vote bank,” said Mr Sinha.

Earlier chief minister Mamata Banerjee criticised the Centre for deciding to stop train services at eight rail routes in the state as they were not “commercially viable”.

Miss Banerjee also said that the decision was politically motivated. The eight routes which the Centre said will be stopped are Shantipur-Nabadwip Ghat, Baruipur-Namkhana, Sonarpur-Canning, Kalyani-Kalyani Simanta, Ballygunge-Budge Budge, Bhimghar-Palasthali, Barasat-Hasnabad and Bardhman-Katwa.

Minister of state for railways Manoj Sinha on Sunday rejected the claim of the state government that the eight railway routes will be stopped while campaigning for the BJP Noapara Assembly candidate Sandip Chattapadhaya at Garulia. He said it was nothing but an anti-campaign against BJP -led government.

“Railway minister under the leadership of Prime Minster Narendra Modi will not stop any railway route. All routes will remain open ,” he said on Sunday.

Eastern railway already released a notice on 19 January by informing that no routes of the railway will be closed. Notice further added that railway has no authority to stop any route, it is decided by the railway ministry.