New Delhi, Feb. 26 (PTI): Sharad Pawar today expressed grave disappointment over the railway budget at a UPA coordination committee meeting, complaining that Mumbai has been neglected and this is “not acceptable”, sources said.
Hours after the budget was presented in the Lok Sabha, the Nationalist Congress Party chief said the government had “totally neglected” the problems faced by 80 lakh commuters in Mumbai, the sources said.
The NCP, in the meeting convened by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and attended by Congress president Sonia Gandhi among others, said the “neglect is not acceptable”.
The three-hour meeting also saw ally DMK criticising the government for not taking a tough stand against Sri Lanka on the issue of ethnic Tamils, the sources added.
DMK’s T.R. Baalu expressed unhappiness over the government not taking a tough stand on the Sri Lankan Tamil issue.
The meeting also saw another UPA partner, the RLD, raising the issue of division of Uttar Pradesh, prompting Pawar to pitch for a separate Telangana.
The leaders told the UPA leadership that the alliance had made a commitment on the Telangana issue in the President’s address soon after it came to power in 2004 and that it needed to be fulfilled.
Ajit Singh, a strong votary for carving out Harit Pradesh from the western part of Uttar Pradesh, said the heartland state had become an “unmanageable” state.
Sources said the UPA leadership assured the leaders of having further consultations on various issues.
This was the first meeting of the UPA coordination committee this year and was held after the start of the three-month budget session.
The DMK had already said that it would raise the issue of Sri Lankan Tamils and farmer suicides in Tamil Nadu at the UPA coordination committee meeting.
The meeting was the first formal interaction between the Congress and its allies after the AgustaWestland helicopter scam broke out.