Former Railway Minister and JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar on Friday criticised Narendra Modi government for promoting a “bad tradition” of announcing hike in Railway fare and freight before presentation of Railway budget in Parliament.
“They are promising the country that ‘Achye deen aa gaye hain’ (good days have come) and promoting bad tradition,” Kumar told reporters.
His reaction came in the wake of Narendra Modi government increasing railway passenger fare by 14.2 per cent in all classes and freight by 6.5 per cent with effect from today.
Kumar, who served as Railway minister in the NDA government of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, said, “I presented five Railway budget and always followed tradition of announcing roadmap of railway including proposal for increasing fare and freight in Parliament through budget.”
“When UPA government in the recent past had announced increase in Railway fare and freight before presentation of Railway budget it was the same BJP which had made hue and cry….Now they are doing the same and promoting a bad tradition,” he said, taking a potshots at BJP-led government at the Centre.
Kumar described 14.2 per cent hike in fare and 6.5 per cent in freight as a “big increase” which he said would further lift prices of essential commodities.
Budget earmarked Rs 3.40 crore for the Nirbhaya Fund, to be used for the upkeep of security of women.