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BJP protests ‘raw deal’ to State in railway budget

Staff Reporter

Photo: R. V. Moorthy

Up in arms: BJP and BJD MPs from Orissa staging a protest against the Railway Budget at Parliament House in New Delhi on Wednesday. —

BHUBAN ESWAR: Train services were affected at various places following rail roko by the Bharatiya Janata Party protesting “poor allocation” in the railway budget for the State.

As many as six trains were cancelled and more than 20 others were running late, East Coast Railway (ECoR) officials said here. Railway passengers had a tough time due to the eight-hour-long rail roko.

Palasa-Bhubaneswar, Berhampur-Cuttack, Cuttack-Bhadrak, Cuttack-Paradip, Bhubaneswar-Khallikote and Bhubaneswar-Visakhapatnam (intercity) were the trains that were cancelled.

BJP Yuba Morcha workers stopped trains at Golanthara near Berhampur, Khurda, Bhadrak, Kherajang station and Bhubaneswar in the morning. Shouting slogans against the UPA Government for its ‘step motherly attitude’ towards the State, BJP workers squatted on the track.

In Berhampur, Yuba Morcha activists led by State unit president Bibhuti Jena staged rail roko for three hours at the railway station from 5 a.m.

Echo in Delhi

The protest by the BJP in the State coincided with dharna by MPs belonging to the Biju Janata Dal and the BJP before the statue of Mahatma Gandhi in the Parliament complex in New Delhi.

MPs of the two parties alleged the railway budget ignored several developmental projects those were vital for industrial development. In the State capital, activists of Kalinga Sena, a local political outfit, stopped trains. They alleged that though the State was contributing 7 per cent of the Railways’ total revenue, its share was not reflected in the budget. “It is beyond our comprehension as to how implementation of two projects that fall under East Coast Railway has been earmarked to be supervised by the Kolkata and Bilaspur zones,” Hemant Rath, chief of Kalinga Sena, said.

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