BJP destroyed railways by discontinuing separate budget: Mamata Banerjee
Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday attacked the BJP-led central government by claiming that Indian Railways was destroyed the day the practice of presenting a separate Railway Budget was stopped.
The Narendra Modi government merged Railway Budget with the Union Budget in 2017, ending a practice of about 100 years.
"When I was the Railway Minister, we had the option of having six secretaries of Cabinet rank for various railway departments - finance, employee welfare, signalling, engineering and electrical. They helped in coordination among different departments. Today, this coordination has gone.
Indian Railways was destroyed the day we stopped presenting the Budget separately. No one seems to care about these things these days," Banerjee told reporters.
The TMC supremo's statement came in the aftermath of the June 2 triple train accident in Odisha that left 288 people, including residents of West Bengal, dead.
Banerjee slammed the BJP government at the Centre alleging that it was busy suppressing the truth behind the train crash.
"I have said this earlier too, and I will repeat it again. All we want is the truth about the cause of the accident must come out. However, we have seen how truth has been manipulated, and fake stories are pushed to suppress the real cause of the accident," she said.
Referring to the unrest in Manipur, Banerjee claimed that the Centre was not allowing anybody including the journalists to visit the northeastern state so that it can suppress the truth.
"We have seen how the central government tries to suppress news about Manipur. Journalists aren't allowed to travel there and report freely. Hence, when I say that this government hides facts, it is true. The countrymen will give their reply to the government, I am waiting for that day," she said.
On reports that the Union Ministry of Labour & Employment, writing to the state alleging that it has diverted the Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board's funds to pay compensation to the victims of the triple train accident, Banerjee said she has used money from the Disaster Management department.
"What is more important to me is providing aid to the people. I don't see which department the money comes from. Instead of focusing on where I got the money from, they should go do something positive. All funds belong to the state government," she stated.
The BJP is a party of liars who create false narratives, Banerjee asserted.
They (BJP) should be ashamed of themselves for remaining silent over the atrocities taking place in Manipur and Uttar Pradesh," she added.
Alleging that the central government has halted sending funds to West Bengal for numerous projects and schemes, she said she is confident that these issues will be resolved once a new government is installed in New Delhi after the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.