The move by the Narendra Modi government to increase railway fare is facing a flak from all quarters, especially the BJP's state allies in Maharashtra considering that the state is ready to elections in few months.
The people of Maharashtra, in the last 15 years, did not allow Shiv Sena-BJP to come anywhere near the power. Therefore, keeping the upcoming assembly elections and the adverse effect of fare hike into mind, the state BJP unit along with its ally Shiv Sena and RPI have demanded a roll back of the proposed fare hike.The leaders of ‘Mahayuti’ (Shiv-Sena-BJP-RPI) has discussed the fare hike issue with Home Minister Rajnath Singh, and requested him to at least reduce the proposed hike.
The Leader of Opposition in Maharashtra Legislative Council Vinod Tawde said, "We understand that the rail fare has to be hiked to make an improvement, but before that we should get to see some progress. Unless and until development is taking place, such hike should not be imposed."
'Acche Din Aayenge' (Good days will come), is what the citizens were promised when the Narendra Modi came into power. However, less than a month after being elected to the Lok Sabha with an overwhelming majority, the BJP-Sena alliance has let down the citizens of Maharashtra.
Terming the proposed hike as shocking, Shiv Sena party chief Uddhav Thackaray said, “All of its MP’s from Mumbai-Thane will meet the Prime Minister and Railway Minister about the proposed hike. If its not possible to roll back the proposed hike, it should be reduced."
Compared to commuters of the other parts of the country, Mumbai local train travelers are hit the most by the hike as suburban local train ticket prices are increased by nearly 100%. Rajya Sabha MP and leader of Republican Party of India (RPI-Athavale) Ramdas Athavle said, “Citizens of the country have shown faith in us, and within a span of one month of coming into power, increasing railway fare is an injustice to the people. We are also a part of NDA alliance, and we feel that the proposed hike should be reduced. Parliament session will begin on July 7, and we will take up this issue during session."
During the last assembly elections, BJP won 46 seats, while Shiv Sena 44, whereas its opposition Congress-NCP alliance had won 114 seats. Even though voters routed out UPA-II government during Lok Sabha elections, tough ‘decisions’ by the Modi government could hamper the performance of Sena-BJP alliance in the assembly elections which will take place in September-October this year.
However, showing faith in the Modi government, Uddhav Thackaray said, "The government has made a good beginning an there is no need to criticise it. I am sure that the government will take decisions that will benefit citizens."