Railway minister on Odisha train accident site since 30 hours, not for photo-op like predecessors: Govt
Countering demands that the Railway Minister should resign while taking moral responsibility for the train disaster, the Government has sought to project how Ashwini Vaishnaw has been tirelessly monitoring the situation from the accident site rather than just doing "photo-ops" like his predecessors.
The Government has come out strongly in defence of Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw who has been slammed by members of Opposition parties for the disastrous train crash in Odisha that has claimed nearly 300 lives.
Countering demands that the Railway Minister should resign while taking moral responsibility for the train disaster, the Government has sought to project how Vaishnaw has been tirelessly monitoring the situation from the accident site rather than just doing "photo-ops" like his predecessors.
The Congress party and other Opposition leaders have been seeking his resignation.
Briefing media persons, Congress leader Pawan Khera said, "The CAG report states that there have been 1,127 incidents of train derailments between 2017 and 2021. The budget for the repair/renovation of tracks is decreasing every year in the Modi government. Not only this... the budget that is there is not being used. We are not against high-speed trains, but by showing 10-15 shining trains, you will make the whole structure hollow, this is not acceptable."
"Resigning means taking moral responsibility. Neither responsibility nor morality is visible in this government. Prime Minister, this country expects that the way Lal Bahadur Shastri ji, Nitish Kumar ji, Madhav Rao Scindia ji had resigned... in the same way you also take the resignation of your Railway Minister," he added.
Countering the Opposition claim. government sources said that Vaishnaw has been on the accident site for more than 30 hours. He first oversaw the rescue efforts and is now monitoring the restoration process.
Citing data from the time when Lalu Prasad Yadav and Mamata Banerjee were Railways ministers, government sources said that earlier ministers used to go to train accident spots only for "photo-ops" and then return to New Delhi.
Government sources further said that at a time when the priority is to ensure that those injured get treatment and restore the Railways lines, the Opposition is busy fishing for conspiracy and putting pressure on the Railway Minister to resign. "This shows that the Opposition is only concerned about pinning the blame for the accident on Ashwini Vaishnaw when the Railway Board had informed that the high-level probe committee appointed after the accident would submit its report within 10-15 days. Besides, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has already stated that those responsible for the accident would be given strict punishment. The Opposition should refrain from politicising the accident," sources said.