TMC for rollback in rail passenger fare hike

New Delhi: UPA constituent Trinamool Congress today demanded in the Lok Sabha a rollback in passenger fares proposed in the Railway Budget presented by former Minister Dinesh Trivedi and was joined by other members in opposing the hike.

Several non-Trinamool members expressed sympathy with Trivedi for being removed over fare hike and took dig at the ruling coalition for the first-of-its-kind development when a minister had to resign even before he could reply to the debate on a budget presented by him.

"Kindly roll back the price hike proposed in respect of poor… Give relief to the poor people," Trinamool member Kalyan Banerjee said addressing new Railway Minister Mukul Roy while participating in the debate on Rail Budget. He specifically wanted rollback in the second and general categories of passenger fares.

Apparently taking a dig at Trivedi, who belongs to his party, Banerjee said some people think that by raising taxes one becomes intellectual. "If you ignore the condition of poor, then you become prudent!!!" He showered praise on Roy, who also belongs to his party, and hoped that he would utilise his "dedication and sincerity" to take railways forward with the blessings of Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee.

His sentiments were echoed by party colleague Ratna De. "Rail fare hike should be rolled back. Fare hike is not fair," she said. She attacked Trivedi, saying he had indulged in jugglery by saying that he was increasing the fare in terms of paise per km, while the real hike worked out to be 20 per cent of the ticket price.