Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Siddharth Nath Singh defended the rail fare hike, calling it a strong and effective measure to counter Congress' failure.
Naqvi told ANI, "Correction of the Congress' failures is the priority," adding, "The challenges the country is facing is an inheritance passed by the people who are protesting against it." He added, "The Modi government was trying to take strong and effective measures. Soon people will realise that measures that are being taken is to rid people of their problems."
Meanwhile, BJP leader Siddharth Nath Singh said, "Any government faces two choices, to go for the growth or to give doles in the form of vote bank, the decision taken by PM Narendra Modi's government is to bring India out of the economic mess left by the earlier UPA-II government."
About the railway hike, he said, "It was a decision that the previous government had already taken in February but they did not announce it because of the upcoming elections and the vote bank consideration and, therefore, left the decision to the new government."
The government has increased rail passenger fares by 14.2 percent and freight rates by 6.5 percent, which has led to an outcry by the opposition parties.
With 14% increase in railway fare, 6.5% rise in freight rates, suburban travel gets dearer
Mumbai, predominantly a season-pass city, is the worst hit by the rail fare hike that comes into effect from June 25. Of the estimated 75 lakh daily suburban commuters, more than 70% travel on season tickets. A Churchgate-Borivli second class season pass would rise from Rs 190 to Rs 480. A first-class pass on the same route would go up from Rs 655 to Rs 1,310. Quarterly, half yearly and yearly season passes would also go up. Tentative fares for the suburban system show that both first and second class card (single journey) ticket fares will increase between Rs 5 to Rs 20 in most cases. The rise in season tickets is substantial. Read more
Double standards? When Narendra Modi criticised the UPA government for hiking railway rates before budget
Ironically, in 2012 when Narendra Modi was the chief minister of Gujarat the UPA government has similarly increased railway prices. The former Gujarat Chief Minister had written a letter to the then Prime Minister asking him to withdraw the railway hike immediately.
Just before Rail Budget UPA has suddenly increased railway freight rates bypassing Parliament. Wrote to PM against this http://t.co/Dr9s4vob
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) March 7, 2012