Amid protests by major opposition parties against steep hike in rail fare and freight rates, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Sunday said the decision was "inevitable" for the survival of the railways considering its mounting losses.
"The decision to hike fares was mooted during the UPA regime. Railways was on the verge of getting closed due to the mounting losses. In such a situation something had to be done," Gadkari told reporters in Khajuraho during a training session of the newly-elected MPs and MLAs of Madhya Pradesh.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, too, had defended the fare hike saying that it was a "difficult but correct decision" as the railways can survive only if users pay for availing of facilities.
Gadkari said the government under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken an ambitious programme for development of the country and due to the "policy-paralysis" in the last 10 years, it will have to take some tough decisions.
"We will have to keep people abreast with the development mindset and want to take them forward," he said.
Addressing party leaders, Gadkari highlighted BJP's journey from the days of its founders. "BJP has a distinct identity in politics and it is the duty of every party MPs, MLAs and workers to maintain it as they are the face of the party," he said.
Gadkari urged the party leaders to rise above their self-interests and work for the people. He called upon them to develop their areas and give utmost importance to people's problems.