After some opposition parties demanded the Railway Minister’s resignation over the train tragedy in Odisha’s Balasore, Ashwini Vaishnaw on Saturday said this is not the time to do politics.
“This is not the time to do politics. We want transparency. It is fine that they want resignation but this is time to work for full restoration,” he said in Balasore where at least 288 people died and over 800 injured in the train mishap.
After the reports of the accident came, Vaishnaw on Friday night said he was rushing to the site. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also visited the site today and met injured passengers.
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar demanded an inquiry into the three-train accident. Asked about demands for the resignation of Vaishnaw on moral grounds post the tragedy, Pawar cited the example of then railway minister Lal Bahadur Shastri resigning after a train accident and asked “those in power” to do what is “appropriate”.
Senior NCP leader Ajit Pawar termed the train accident a failure of the government and said Vaishnaw should resign from the post by taking moral responsibility for the tragedy.
Tagging a tweet by Vaishnaw on ex gratia compensation to victims of the accident, Congress MP from Odisha Saptagiri Ulaka said, “You should resign first.” Ask some person to investigate the reason for this mishap and do course corrections, as well as ensure support to the injured, the MP said.
The CPI and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) demanded that Vaishnaw’s resignation over the incident.
Congress leader Digvijaya Singh also demanded Vaishnaw’s resignation in view of the train accident and cited the example of former Railway Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri.
“The Railway Minister, who is an ex-IAS officer of the Odisha cadre, always claimed that the system is foolproof and no accident can occur,” Singh told reporters in Chhatarpur in Madhya Pradesh.
“There is an example when Lal Bahadur Shastri had resigned after a train accident (in 1956) but we can’t expect such a step from the (incumbent Railway) minister in the Modi cabinet. If a bit of shame is left, the minister (Vaishnaw) should resign,” Singh said.
(With PTI inputs)