A group of four Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MPs from Karnataka, including former chief minister Sadananda Gowda, have written a letter to Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge, strongly criticizing him for his recent letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. They argued that Kharge's letter is "high on rhetoric and low on facts."
"There was no collision in Mysore as stated in your letter. It doesn't suit a leader of your stature to be writing letters to the PM based on facts got from 'Whatsapp University'. But perhaps as the Vice-Chancellor of Whatsapp University, you are forced to regurgitate fake news as facts," the MPs said in their letter to Congress President.
Detailing mismanagement of the railways, Kharge's letter highlighted 10 points that urged the government to bring out the 'real reason' behind the Balasore triple-train accident that claimed 288 lives.
"In response to your recent letter to our Hon'ble Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi Ji, we must say, we found it high on rhetoric and low on facts. As a former Minister of Railways, one would anticipate your discernment of the situation to be infused with depth and understanding, as you were at the helm between 2004 and 2014. Yet, your recent communication to us suggests otherwise," the leaders said.
Tejaswi Surya, PC Mohan, S Muniswamy and Sadananda Gowda wrote the letter to Kharge.
"You raise concerns about safety investments, yet under our tenure, the Rashtriya Rail Sanraksha Kosh (RRSK) was established for critical safety-related works. Railways spent over Rs. 1 lakh cr on RRSK works between 2017-18 and 2021-22. Our total safety expenditure in the last 9 years of Rs. 1,78,012 cr is 2.5 times the expenditure during your era. It is amusing how you have the confidence to lecture us on rail safety after performing so miserably during the 10 years of UPA," the BJP leaders said to Kharge.
They further hit out at Congress over its continuous remarks on the Anti-Collision device in the Odisha train accident and said, "We are amused at how seriously the Congress Party speaks about the Anti-Collision device. Only if your party-led Governments had worked on it as seriously you speak about it, it could have deployed across the entire country in 6 decades of your (mis)rule."
As Kharge question the recruitment in Railways in Narendra Modi's tenure in his letter, the BJP leaders replied to him, saying, "In the past 9 years, Railways appointed 4.58 Lakh new appointees and currently recruitment process to appoint about 1.52 Lakh candidates is ongoing. Thus in our 10 years, we would appoint more than 6.1 lakh youngsters, which is almost 50 per cent more than of 4.11 Lakh candidates appointed during the 10 years of UPA. Secondly, the 5,518 freshly appointed Assistant Loco Pilots quash your allegations of neglecting this sector."
Hitting out at Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, Kharge in his letter said that all empty safety claims have been exposed and the Odisha accident is an eye-opener for all.
"The train accident in Odisha has been an eye-opener for all of us. All the empty safety claims of the Railway Minister have now been exposed. There is a serious concern among the common passengers about this deterioration in safety. Therefore, it is incumbent upon the government to ascertain and bring to light the real reasons that caused this grave accident," the letter read. (ANI)