Suresh Prabhu must resign as minister after Utkal Express tragedy: Congress

Workers repairing the rail track after the Puri-Haridwar Utkal Express train derailed in Khatauli near Muzaffarnagar, on Sunday. (Photo: PTI)

Blaming "gross human negligence" for the Uttar Pradesh train disaster, the Congress on Monday said Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu should immediately resign taking moral responsibility for the tragic incident and "reflect and introspect".

The party also demanded a compensation of Rs 25 lakh each to the families of the deceased and Rs 5 lakh to the families of the injured. The Modi government had completely failed in ensuring the safety of the railway passengers, it said.

The party also said that sending on leave just one Railway Board member and two other mid-ranking officials mocks the unfortunate deaths.

"The Railway Minister was brought in, he was touted as the 'messiah', the magic bullet who would transform the Indian Railways completely. There were talks about bullet trains being introduced.

"But today, even the normal functioning of the railways has been hit. That is reflected in the repeated tragedies in which innocent human lives are lost," said Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari.

"We would like Suresh Prabhu to reflect and introspect. Does he have the moral right to continue in office? Should he continue as the Railway Minister?

"In the wake of current railway tragedy, we demand that the Railway Minister resign immediately from his post," he said.

Tewari said: "Our hearts and minds are with the families of those who unfortunately died due to gross human negligence in the Uttar Pradesh rail accident."

"The fact that this is the sixth major accident taking place in the state and 27th tragedy ever since this government assumed office in May 2014 underscores their complete insensitivity towards railway safety and security."

"To add insult to injury, the government's decision to send on leave just one Railway Board member and two other mid-ranking officials actually mocks the unfortunate deaths and those who have been injured," he said.

The party also reminded the central government that "there was something called modicum of moral responsibility and politicians need to take moral responsibility".

"When a similar train accident had taken place four decades ago, then Railway Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri took moral responsibility and stepped down.

"Again when an Indian Airlines aircraft crash-landed at the Delhi airport, then Civil Aviation Minister Madhavrao Scindia had taken moral responsibility and stepped down, though no one had died in that incident," Tewari said.

--IANS

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(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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