The Railway budget came in for criticism from within the ruling alliance with NDA constituent Shiv Sena claiming it lacked clarity on how the money will come for the various projects.
“We are completely dissatisfied with the budget. They have said so many things in the budget. But from where will the money come?,” senior Shivsena leader and North-west Mumbai MP Gajanan Kirtikar said, adding the budget has kept everyone in “dark”.
Despite a patch-up post Maharashtra Assembly polls, Shiv Sena has been taking a stance against BJP on several issues, including the Land Acquisition Bill, reflecting the unease in ties. Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu had quit Sena to join BJP before his induction in the Narenda Modi Cabinet.
“He (railway minister) is talking about raising the height of platforms which requires Rs. 97 crore. One has to allot money for these projects at one go if they have to be completed. They are talking about tripling and doubling lines, but which lines will they undertake work on. They have kept us in dark,” Kirtikar said.
Taking a jibe, Chandrakant Khaire, Shivsena MP from Aurangabad, said “the budget is good but difficult to understand”.
“People will ask us what has the region got from the budget? Now one has to read the budget and then come up with an explanation,” Khaire said.
Senior Sena member Shivajirao Adhalrao Patil said, “It clearly lacks on infrastructure and connectivity. It is more oriented towards streamlining the railway management and training development system.”
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis reacted to the Sena outburst saying, “I think Shiv Sena did not listen or study the budget properly. I am sure if they go through the budget there are several aspects which are in the welfare of both Mumbai and Maharashtra.”
Fadnavis defended the Budget by adding, “The railway minister has specifically mentioned MUTP -111. The allocation of Rs 11,500 crore for the mega project will not only help Mumbai but also rest of state. There are several projects related to unmanned railway crossing (over head bridged) and expansion of railway lines and conversion of narrow guages to broad guages and completion of pending projects which will help commuters.”