Home > Law and governance > Sabotage by Lalu loyalists?

Sabotage by Lalu loyalists?

The profits of Indian Railways have made headlines in recent times. What has not is the fact that despite the rail minister being from the East for the last 10 years (and on several occasions before), the trains in Eastern India have the worst service records. Here trains start late and arrive later, the toilets are dirtier than hell, the passenger compartments are as dirty as toilets elsewhere, and so are the stations. The trains stop wherever and whenever, without any apparent reason. Often the real reason is that some passengers pulled the chain to stop the train, just so that they can get of somewhere close to their homes. Bihar is reputed to be the worst state in the country in this regard, trains going through Bihar are low on passenger safety, seat reservations are routinely ignored by local passengers, and complaints are routinely dismissed by the travelling staff as well as the railway police in Bihar.

Now a new drama unfolds as the ministry changes hands from a known corrupt Bihari, Lalu Prasad Yadav, who misapprpriated thousands of crores in his various avatars, to a known clean Bengali, Mamata Banerjee. It seems that the day Mamata took charge, an order was issued to cancel 33 unprofitable halts, all in Bihar. This was done without the knowledge of the new minister, but the timing was perfect to make the Bihari consider it a snub on Bihar. And trains burned — railway property worth crores went up in smoke.

Why were the halts there in the first place? To get voted for Lalu, of course. That didn’t quite work, Lalu got wiped out in the elections. but people had gotten used to the new halts — especially the fact that there are no tickets to be bought at any of these.

Quite clearly, the stories of improved law and order in Bihar under Nitish Kumar is not much more than a myth. Bihar is as it was.

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