Days after the BJP hit out at railway minister Mamata Banerjee for her prolonged absence in New Delhi, the Trinamul Congress leader on Friday faced sharp criticism again from her former allies and the Left Front after the Jnaneshwari superfast express derailed near Jhargram. The critics say she had put rail safety on hold for Bengal politics.
As 81 municipalities of the state are going for civic polls, Banerjee had been busy throughout the month attending more than a hundred rallies in different parts of the state. Banerjee was present in New Delhi only for one day this month to attend the anniversary of the UPA-II. “We have been receiving requests for holding a rally from supporters from every district. Local leaders have been pressing her to attend the rallies ” said a TMC leader.
Sudip Bandyopadhyay, the leader of party in Parliament, declined to comment on the issue. “I have not spoken to Mamata Banerjee on the issue, so I will not comment on it,” he said. Union minister of state for shipping Mukul Roy also avoided phone calls. There have been three more attacks by the Maoists in just one month. While two of them were in West Midnapore, one was in Bihar.
Banerjee said a patrol engine had passed through the area half-an-hour earlier, but that the blast timing was disastrous and blew off a portion of the track. BJP chief spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad demanded that Banerjee devote ‘full attention’ to her ministry.