In the last two years, Vinod Samariya, a senior BJP worker from Agra, has received six notices from Indian Railways to settle dues of over Rs 12 lakh pending since 2014. Samariya had booked a train to ferry party workers from Fatehpur Sikhri to attend the “Vijay Shankhnad” rally in Lucknow for the then prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi before the Lok Sabha elections on March 2, 2014.
The initial booking amount was Rs 18.4 lakh, including the security deposit of Rs 5 lakh, which he paid from the party fund. The Railways increased it to Rs 30.68 lakh after the train stopped at four stations to pick up supporters. Adjusting the advance paid, the final bill amount came close to Rs 12.3 lakh. Samariya had expected the party to pay the bill from its fund. But with the latest notice on May 11, Samariya is worried.
“The train was booked in my name,” said Samariya, then president of the party’s Fatehpur Sikri Nagar unit in 2014. “I am a farmer and cannot pay this amount. Despite making requests to party leaders, I have only got assurances. If the party does not pay the dues, Railways may attach my property.
“Senior state leaders had told me that no action would be taken against me because it is ‘apni sarkar’ in Delhi,” he said. Samariya said he had reached out to party district president, the state party chief, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu and Union Minister of State Manoj Sinha.
BJP’s Agra president Shyam Bhadauria confirmed that Samariya had approached him. “This matter is pending since the previous district president. I am working to solve it,” he said.
When contacted, Divisional Commercial Manager of North Central Railway’s (NCR) Agra division Sanchit Tyagi claimed that he was not aware of the matter and that he would look into it. State BJP president Keshav Maurya, who is also deputy chief minister, did not respond to phone calls seeking a response on the matter.