Prime Minister Narendra Modi's maiden railway budget might have cheered a lot of his followers, but the opinins of former railway ministers differed to a large extent.
Former Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar who was the railway minister in 1998-99 and 2001-04 described the entire railway budget as 'directionless' and said,"The railway budget has no clear cut direction to move ahead."
Senior RJD leader Lalu Prasad Yadav who was the railway minister from 2004 to 2009 didn't have anything good to say either. "I strongly fear that the railway budget has made a move in the direction to privatise itself at the cost of the interests of people," he said, in context to the public-private partnership model announced in the budget.
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee hit out at the BJP-led government the hardest, threatening that she would not sit idle if the Centre ignores her state. "Bengal has been humiliated and neglected by the new government at the Centre. This government wants to allow FDI everywhere, in fact the BJP wants to sell the country. Our MPs have opposed the budget in the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha as well." The BJP spoke made a lot of promises before the Lok Sabha elections and now they are taking anti-people decisions, she added.
Narendra Modi's maiden rail budget was announced on July 8 in the Parliament by Railway Minister DV Sadananda Gowda.