Rail Budget lacks vision, has nothing for poor: Rahul Gandhi

Written by PTI | New Delhi | Updated: Jul 9 2014, 03:28am hrs
Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi today slammed the Railway Budget, saying it lacks vision and offers nothing for the poor.

"It's a poor budget. Many states like Kerala and West Bengal have been left out," Gandhi told reporters in the Parliament building following the presentation of the railway budget by Rail Minister Sadananda Gowda.

Kerala is a Congress-ruled state while West Bengal is ruled by Trinamool Congress, an erstwhile UPA ally.

Gandhi said there is "nothing for the poor" in the budget and that it is "unimaginative" and "lacks any strategic vision".

The Rail Budget has come under a blistering attack from the opposition with Congress, Trinamool Congress and Left parties lambasting the government over the issues of FDI, privatisation and the PPP route.

West Bengal Chief Minister and former rail minister Mamata Banerjee went to the extent of claiming that it was an attempt to "sell out the country".

Congress leader and former Minister of State for Railways Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury for his part expressed apprehensions of "more and more privatisation" of the railways. He also faulted the move to offer "high-earning areas" like parcel freight to private investors.

He wondered why FDI was being talked about in the railways when surplus investible funds from PSUs could be used for infrastructure creation.

While Chowdhury termed the budget "lacklustre", TMC leader Kalyan Banerjee said it was "anti-people".

TMC members also disrupted proceedings in Lok Sabha as they demanded the withdrawal of the rail budget.