New Delhi, Feb 25 (IANS) Branding Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee a “dream peddler”, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Friday said she was “playing a joke” on the people by announcing new projects in her budget Friday but without financial support.
It also slammed Banerjee for focusing on poll-bound West Bengal to announce new railway projects, as though other states do not belong to India.
“Mamata Banerjee sapne bech rahe hain (she is peddling dreams). The financial health of the Indian Railways is weak. How can the new projects she announced be executed without any financial support,” BJP deputy leader in the Lok Sabha Gopinath Munde asked while speaking to reporters outside Parliament House soon after Banerjee presented her budget.
“For the railway minister, only Bengal exists and rest of the country does not. This is a joke being played on the Indian people. She is playing games with the country,” he said.
Munde said railway ministers, whether from Bengal, Bihar or any other state, should not favour only their home state. They should work for the betterment of railways throughout the country, he said, when asked what was wrong about Banerjee’s announcements for West Bengal.
Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress is the primary challenger to the ruling Left front in West Bengal, where assembly polls will be held later this year.
Munde said the railways were going through difficult times, but Banerjee’s budget was silent on bringing it out of its financial mess.
“We had thought Indian Railways is doing well financially in recent years. But this year’s budget has shattered that myth,” he said giving the example of Banerjee’s announcement on generating Rs.10,000 crore through rail bonds.
Munde said last year, Banerjee had announced the generation of Rs.15,000 crore through such bonds. “With this year’s announcement, the total funds through the bonds will be Rs 25,000 crore, which is nothing but borrowing. How long will the railways function through borrowings,” he wondered.