Kolkata, June 3 (). Trinamool Congress General Secretary and Lok Sabha member Abhishek Banerjee on Saturday demanded the resignation of Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnav over the Odisha train accident. At least 288 people have been killed and over 900 injured in the train accident in Odisha’s Balasore.
Abhishek Banerjee announced his decision to cancel all his political activities for the day as a mark of respect to the victims. Talking to reporters, Banerjee said, Mamata Banerjee had initiated the process of installing collision avoidance system during her tenure as Railway Minister, but it has not been implemented yet.
He said, the Prime Minister often talks about Digital India, but the anti-collision (collision avoidance) system was ignored. Had this arrangement been in place, such an accident could have been avoided. A separate commission should be set up to probe the matter.
He also said that if the accident had happened after 8 pm, the death toll would have been more. He said, generally in the evening passengers sit on the lower berths only. The middle and upper berths usually get filled by 8.30 pm. If the accident had happened at that time, the death toll could have crossed 1000.
Abhishek Banerjee also questioned why Prime Minister Narendra Modi should not take responsibility for the accident, while he is always eager to take credit for starting the Vande Bharat Express.
He said, Union ministers never travel by train. They always travel by aeroplane. That’s why they don’t understand the inconvenience of common people. I request the central government not to put the lives of common people at risk for politics.