BHOPAL: Almost 72 hours after the tragic Sidhi bus accident, the transport minister Govind Rajput was seen in action on Thursday checking buses on the roads, the act termed ‘photo op’ by Congress.
On Tuesday morning, at least 51 people were killed when a packed private bus skidded off the road and plunged into Bansagar canal in Sidhi district. Three passengers are still missing and the Army's help has been sought to locate them.
On the day when many had lost their lives, the minister was seen enjoying food at house of a minister and his smiling photograph had made headlines and even went viral on social media. The minister has earned flak for his insensitivity as he was seen enjoying luncheon with his cabinet colleague when hundreds were grieving. In an apparent face-saving exercise, the minister on Thursday conducted a ‘surprise inspection’ of the buses in the city. However, chose to skip rural-urban areas, concentrated on road leading to Raisen and Hoshangabad.
Rajput first visited 11 Miles area on Bhopal-Hosangabad road and checked the buses to know if they were following the transport laws. From there he went to check the passenger buses on Raisen road.
Busy minister takes meal with staff mid inspection: As the minister remained busy with his ‘surprise inspection’, food was ordered from a renowned hotel and the minister and his staff took out time from their busy schedule to have their meal. Eleven buses were seized during the inspection for violating transport laws.
Minister skipped semi-urban areas: Congress
Attacking the minister, the Congress said that if the minister wanted to conduct the inspection, he should have gone to semi-urban areas, where the problems like overloaded buses, their fitness and other issues persist. The minister took the easy route and checked the buses which are coming to the capital or crossing the city. These buses normally maintain their standard and follow the rules, the real problem lies in the rural and semi urban areas, but the minister chose to skip it, said Congress.