Senior Congress leader and former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Digvijaya Singh have demanded Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw's resignation in the wake of the triple train tragedy in Odisha that claimed lives of 288 passengers.
Digvijay Singh expressed grief over the tragedy that took place on Friday evening and involved Bengaluru-Howrah Superfast Express, Coromandel Express and a goods train on three separate tracks at Bahanaga Bazar Station in the Balasore district of Odisha.
"When Railways Minister repeatedly says that our system is fool-proof and any severe accident cannot happen then how this happened... He (Ashwini Vaishnaw) is an ex-IAS officer of Odisha cadre, where this tragedy has taken place. There is an example where in such a train accident, Lal Bahadur Shastri had resigned from his post," said Digvijaya Singh told reporters on Saturday.
"We don't expect this from PM Modi's cabinet, but if he (Ashwini Vaishnaw) has a little bit of shame, he should resign," the Congress leader said.
Earlier Congress leader and former chief minister of Maharashtra Prithviraj Chavan also demanded the railway minister's resignation. "We demand the resignation of the Railway Minister, he should offer voluntary resignation and follow the tradition of Lal Bahadur Shastri," Chavan said.
He said that the report of the inquiry should be made public.
"According to the initial information, it is a signal failure and such incidents have never happened before. It is a very unfortunate accident and the inquiry must be public...there has to be a discussion on such accidents," Chavan said.
Meanwhile, the restoration work is underway at Odisha's Balasore where two passenger trains and a goods carriage were involved in a horrific accident.
Chief Public Relations Officer (CPRO), of South Eastern Railway, Aditya Kumar said that the capsized bogies have been removed and the work of connecting the track is going on from one side.
"Capsized bogies have been removed...Two bogies of goods train also have been removed...work of connecting track is going on from one side...will finish the work as soon as possible," Aditya Kumar told ANI.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) deployed Mi-17 helicopters for the evacuation of the deceased and injured. According to the Eastern Command, IAF coordinated the rescue efforts with the civil administration and Indian Railways.
The preliminary report on the tragedy said the three-way accident involved Bengaluru-Howrah Superfast Express, the Coromandel Express and a goods train on three separate tracks at Bahanaga Bazar Station in Balasore district. As many as 17 coaches of these two passenger trains were derailed and severely damaged in the accident on Friday evening. (ANI)