Friday, Oct 24, 2014

SP, BJP workers clash in Lucknow over rail fare hike; protests across Uttar Pradesh

Congress supporters protesting the proposed hike in railway fares in front of Vidhan Sabha in Lucknow. (Source: PTI) Congress supporters protesting the proposed hike in railway fares in front of Vidhan Sabha in Lucknow. (Source: PTI)
Express News Service | New Delhi | Posted: June 21, 2014 6:58 pm | Updated: June 21, 2014 9:51 pm

Several people were injured and many vehicles were reportedly damaged as Samajwadi Party workers staged demonstration outside BJP office in Lucknow on Saturday.

According to reports SP workers were protesting the hike in rail fares outside the BJP’s office when things turned violent. There were heavy stone pelting and the Samajwadi Party workers tore down posters outside the party office. Some BJP workers were also injured in the clashes.

At the same time, BJP workers have claimed that there was hardly any police presence near the BJP office.

Meanwhile, protests were also witnessed in Allahabad, Varanas, Kanpur and Mathura.

SP workers blocked the railway tracks and burnt effigies of Narendra Modi and Railway Minister Sadanand Gowda while protesting the ‘steep’ hike in rail fares announced by the government in its first tough steps to revive the economy.

Samajwadi Party workers burnt Modi’s effigy in front of the Kashi Railway station in his home turf Varanasi and
shouted slogans.

In Lucknow, Congress workers led by former district president Amit Srivastava Tyagi staged a demonstration in front of Uttar Pradesh Vidhan Sabha.

Tyagi said, “the PM had promised people to cut down inflation but the rail fare hike has exposed him and his party.”

He said the move will have an adverse effect upon the people who are already battling relentless price rise.

Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee termed the move as “betrayal” by the NDA-led Union government and announced that it would stage a state-wide dharna on Sunday.

Scores of flag-waving angry SP protesters in Allahabad thronged Prayag Railway station this morning, shouted slogans
and blocked railway traffic, forcing the Ganga-Gomti passenger train to halt for close to half-an-hour.

SP spokesperson Dan Bahadur Singh slammed the hike, saying it tantamount to “betrayal” of trust that the people of the
country had placed in the BJP.

In Mathura, Congress leader Pradeep Mathur said, “the unprecedented hike in freight rates would lead to overall price rise.”

“BJP in its Lok Sabha election campaign had stressed upon good governance. However, it is otherwise.”

In Kanpur, Congress workers held placards, shouted slogans and burnt Union Railway Minister’s effigy demanding an immediate rollback in the fares.

Meanwhile, Union Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha on Saturday told reporters in Lucknow that the hike decision was necessary for the Railways, which was incurring huge losses and said the decision had been taken by the previous UPA regime as part of interim rail budget.

(With PTI inputs)

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