Opposition on Monday picked holes in the Railway Budget dubbing it as disappointing and asked the government from where the money would come from for implementing the ambitious projects. Stating that hardly any difference could be spotted in the budget presented by two different governments, Avtar Singh Karimpuri (BSP) attacked the Narendra Modi-led dispensation for "shattering" the dreams of common people.
"When NDA government formed, common people's hopes went up higher. But, with this budget, their hopes are shattered now," Karimpuri said. He also questioned the sources of funding for projects like bullet trains and wondered while BJP highlighted the tea-seller background of Prime Minister Narendra Modi during elections, there was nothing for tea vendors in the budget. Karimpuri demanded roll back of the hike in passenger fares and freight charges.
Ram Nath Thakur (JD-U) said there was nothing for the welfare of tea sellers and porters in the budget. He demanded that the government should provide due attention to the projects announced by earlier Railway Ministers. Initiating a debate on the Rail Budget, Prabhat Jha (BJP) attacked the previous governments led by Congress and other parties for failing to improve the condition of the Railways. He said safety was never on the agenda of the previous UPA government but it was a priority for the BJP dispensation. He said the decision of the UPA government not to hike passenger fares was impractical as resources need to be mobilised to improve effeciency of the national tranporter.
Praising the budget, T Rathinavel (AIADMK) said the last government had mismanaged the railways. He said the present NDA government has shown farsightdness and given importance to states in the budget. He asked the government to make proper arrangements for travel of physcially handicaped passengers. Kanak Lata Singh (SP) expressed disappointment over the budget. In this budget, she said it seems BJP wants to return the favour to those who helped it during the elections. T K Rangarajan (CPI-M) opined that the present government should not follow the policies of the last UPA and instead have its own approach. He stressed that government should not allow FDI and PPP model in railways.