NDA had guts to apply rail fare hike: Gowda

SAYS Congress had developed cold feet over the issue

New Delhi : Facing attack over recent hike in rail fare and freight, Railway Minister D V Sadananda Gowda on Wednesday said the NDA government had the guts to implement the proposal over which the UPA had developed cold feet.

“We had the guts to implement it (rail fare hike)… You (Congress) did not have the guts to implement it,” Gowda said.

He was countering Congress attack on the ruling front for hiking rail fare during the discussion on price rise in the Lok Sabha. Recently, Railways effected a 14.2% hike in passenger fares along with a 6.5% raise in freight charges, which drew criticism from various quarters.

Justifying the decision, the government has maintained that the proposal was actually made by the previous UPA dispensation and it was “forced” to implement it because of bad financial condition of the Railways. The hike was originally announced during UPA tenure on May 16, the day when the results of the Lok Sabha elections came in. It was, however, withdrawn by the evening that day and the decision was left to the next government.

Meanwhile, both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha were disrupted in the first half Wednesday, as opposition members created a ruckus over the Railway Budget.

In the Lok Sabha, as soon as the question hour began Wednesday morning, angry Trinamool Congress members shouted slogans and disrupted the proceedings of the house, protesting the Railway Budget and also against the alleged misbehaviour of some BJP MPs in the house Tuesday.

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