Train derailments have become associated with Indian Railways: Congress
New Delhi August 23 : The Congress on Wednesday said that rail accidents have become a part of Indian Railways history now, adding that Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu's resignation should be accepted."One thing is very much clear and evident that rail accidents in India have now become a synonym of Indian Railways. Both Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu and Ministry of Railways have failed in doing their work drastically. Prabhu's resignation should be accepted immediately," Congress leader Randeep Surjewala told ANI.
He added that Prime Minister Narendra Modi must tell everyone how he is taking care of the security issues.
"When will those 1,42,000 positions be filled in the Railways department and when the Centre will invest Rs. 46,000 crore in the tackling train accidents," Surjewala said.
Another Congress leader Shashi Tharoor said that the Indian Railways are a public trust and so many lives are lost with so many damages, it shows there is a management failure and somewhere along the line political accountability must follow.
"In the history, Lal Bahadur Shastri had resigned because of one Rail accident. We have seen nine in the last three years. I have high respect for Suresh Prabhu but if he feels that political morality should lead him in this direction then that is something which needs to be considered," Tharoor added.
Earlier in the day, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley hinted over Prabhu's resignation stating that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will take a decision on "whatever request" the latter has made.
While addressing a press briefing, Arun Jaitley said, "Accountability is a good system in the government. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will take a decision on whatever request the railway minister has made."
After two train derailments in five days, the Railway Minister, earlier in the day, met Prime Minister Modi and tweeted that he had taken full moral responsibility over the situation hinting that he had offered to quit. Later, Prime Minister Modi, he said, asked him to 'wait'.
"I met the Hon'ble Prime Minister @narendramodi taking full moral responsibility. Hon'ble PM has asked me to wait," he tweeted.
He further tweeted, "In less than three years as Minister, I have devoted my blood and sweat for the betterment of the Railways".
Prabhu's tweets came hours after Railway Board chairman A.K. Mittal resigned, citing 'personal reasons'.
Earlier in wee hours of the day, 10 coaches of Kaifiyat Express heading towards Delhi derailed after colliding with a dumper near the Auraiya district in Uttar Pradesh and over 20 people have been injured.
On August 19, more than 20 died and over 200 were injured after 13 coaches of the Puri-Haridwar Utkal Express ran off the tracks in Uttar Pradesh's Muzaffarnagar district.