Launching an offensive against ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s ánti-people’ move to hike railway passenger fares and freight charges, Aam Aadmi Party convener Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday said that the Centre had other ways to cut railway’s revenue deficit rather than to burden the common man of the country.
The former Delhi chief minister said, “So much corruption exists in Railways department, had the government worked on curbing corruption they wouldn’t felt need to hike rail fare.”
The anti-corruption outfit had voiced its anger against the rail fare hike, saying the country felt cheated by the BJP’s decision. It also expressed its apprehension towards the BJP’s motives saying that the saffron party was anti-poor and pro-rich.
Senior AAP leader Prashant Bhushan said, “If the government of India is ready to increase gas prices to benefit of few companies then their mindset is clear.”
In a statement, the AAP had severely critised the rail fare hike, and said, “AAP is shocked over the steep hike in passenger fares and freight charges announced by the Railways Ministry. This happens to be the second hike in eight months and the steepest in the recent past.”
“The railways, which ferries 25 million people every day, is the lifeline of the country and the principal mode of conveyance for the ‘aam aadmi’. The common man of the country feels cheated as the BJP had promised to bring down prices…”
It alleged that while burdening the common man with fare hike, the NDA government did not take the fact into account that the average railway passenger is poor and has missed out on the benefits of two decades of surging growth.
“What worries more is the fact that 6.5 per cent hike in freight charges will further push the inflationary pressure and prices of the essential commodities will further go up. It is baffling that the government did not even wait for the regular Railways budget and hiked the fare,” the party said.
The AAP also said another “worrying” news has come from the DERC (Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission).
“The DERC has indicated that the electricity tariff is likely to go up in Delhi from the month of August. The Aam Aadmi Party is of the firm view that the average electricity consumer is being overcharged by the discoms.”
“The discom audit ordered by the AAP government will expose their irregularities and the tariff will automatically come down. The Aam Aadmi Party will oppose any proposal of electricity tariff hike in Delhi,” it said.