Under attack in the Lok Sabha for being an accident minister with callous attitude who is away from Delhi most of the time,Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday blamed her “political friends” for conspiring to blame her for the accidents.
Mamata said she was sorry for passengers who were killed or injured,but refused to take blame for the accidents. The Railway Minister does not run the trains.She does not look after technical things. She does not even look after operations. You talk such things because kuch kharaab admi (some bad people) instigate you, she told the Lok Sabha while replying to the discussion on supplementary demand for grants.It is unfair to say that accidents occur every day. Can I kill people? Number of accidents has declined. Passengers have increased.
Railways officials too are not to be blamed,Mamata said,because sometimes human error occurs while working.
So,who is to be blamed? Rail aasman mein nahin jata.Woh ghar ghar mein jata hai. Kisi ne clip khol liya,bomb blast kar diya… (trains dont ply in the sky. They go through villages. Some people dislodge the clips. Some cause bomb blasts), she said.
On her absence from Delhi,Mamata said,I am neither God nor Allah. I cannot satisfy everybody. But if not 100 per cent,I have done 80 per cent.You say I do not stay in Delhi.Politically,you can say it. What I have done in one year for you was not done in 50 years. I challenge. You ask me any question relating to the Railways,I will reply without seeking any papers. If I am not updated,show me a single file that is pending. I challenge.
Then came a poser for MPs:I had ordered for the anti-collision device in 2000.Why did you not do it for 10 years? Aap kewal humko kahta hai (You only blame me).
Mamata was visibly perturbed by the way MPs had targeted her during the debate. While many complained against her officials for not listening to them,BJD leader Arjun Charan Sethi,a seven-term member of Lok Sabha,made a scathing remark,With Gods blessing and blessing of people,I have been here for a long time. Never have I seen such callous attitude on the part of the Minister of Railways.
SADs Paramjit Kaur Gulshan pointed out how rats were biting passengers in trains and how in the past 14 months 400 people were killed in 200 accidents. Media is calling you accident minister but I will not say that, she quickly added.
Pushed on the backfoot,Mamata tried to convince the MPs,Why dont you understand? I am trying my best.