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regular-article-logo Friday, 19 July 2024

Criminal abandonment of railways by Modi government: Opposition calls for Ashwini Vaishnaw's resignation

AAP MP and national general secretary, organisation, Sandeep Pathak said: 'The railways system has collapsed. Today, this entire institution is in danger. We urge the Prime Minister and the railway minister to take moral responsibility for the accident and resign immediately from their posts'

Pheroze L. Vincent New Delhi Published 18.06.24, 06:03 AM
Ashwini Vaishnaw

Ashwini Vaishnaw File picture

The Bengal railway disaster, marking the third major incident in just over a year, has sparked a wave of criticism from the Opposition that has questioned the accountability of railway minister Ashwini Vaishnaw and called for his resignation along with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s.

AAP MP and national general secretary, organisation, Sandeep Pathak said: “First, it is being told that both the trains were running on the same track, so did your signal system fail or was there any human error in it?

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“Second, were anti-collision devices installed in these trains? If they were installed, then why did thisaccident happen and if they were not installed, when will anti-collision devices be installed in these trains?” Pathak asked.

He said that the question now arises who among the Prime Minister and the railway minister will take moral responsibility for these accidents. “The railways system has collapsed. Today, this entire institution is in danger. We urge the Prime Minister and the railway minister to take moral responsibility for the accident and resign immediately from their posts,” he said.

Lal Bahadur Shastri, in 1956, and Nitish Kumar, in 1999, are India’s only railway ministers who resigned after major accidents. Mamata Banerjee, Suresh Prabhu and Ram Vilas Paswan are known to have offered their resignations, which the then PMs did not accept.

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge wrote on X: “In the past 10 years, the Modi govt has indulged in the utter mismanagement of the railway ministry. As a responsible Opposition, it is our bounden duty to underline how the Modi govt has systematically converted the rail ministry into a platform of ‘camera-driven’ self-promotion!

“Today’s tragedy is yet another reminder of this stark reality. Make no mistake, we will remain persistent with our questions and shall make the Modi govt accountable for its criminal abandonment of the Indian Railways,” he added.

Since June 2023, there have been two high-casualty disasters. A three-train collision in Odisha’s Balasore on June 2, 2023, claimed 296 lives. On October 29, two trains collided in Andhra Pradesh’s Vizianagaram, killing 17 people.

“Who is responsible for the continuous railway accidents in the country,” former railways minister Lalu Prasad of the RJD wrote on X.

CPM Bengal state secretary Mohammed Salim posted on X: “Despite repeated claims by the @RailMinIndia travelling is becoming increasingly unsafe, risky and troubling. My heart goes out to the bereaved families. Compensation for all those victims and proper treatment for injured passengers are our demands....”

The CPIML-Liberation said in a statement that such incidents expose the Modi regime’s lax attitude towards India’s railway system that caters to millions of people.

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