Orissa miffed by Mamata cold shoulder

Bhubaneswar, Feb 22 (IANS) Leaders in Orissa are miffed with Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee for not meeting an all-party delegation from the state that wanted to apprise her of their needs ahead of the railway budget.

‘It is unfortunate that the minister has no time for an all-party delegation which customarily apprises the state’s demand to the rail minister ahead of the rail budget every year. This year the delegation sought time to meet the minister since a month. But the minister is yet to give time,’ said Nagendra Pradhan, spokesperson for the state’s ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD).

The state legislative assembly committee on railways had demanded an allocation of about Rs.1,805 crore for development of various projects, including laying of new rail lines.

The railway minister’s refusal to give an audience has triggered a political blame game in the state.

‘The ruling party is responsible for the fiasco. They have failed to prepare a convincing memorandum before the minister,’ said Prasad Harichandan, the chief whip of the opposition Congress party.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has also targeted the ruling BJD over the issue.

‘The state government should show some enthusiasm in this regard,’ said Braja Kishore Tripathy, a BJP leader.

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