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Bengal house unites against rail fare hike, Mamata demands rollback

Bengal house unites against rail fare hike, Mamata demands rollback

Kolkata: The West Bengal Assembly Monday unanimously passed a resolution opposing the hike in railway fares as Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee demanded a roll back of the "unprecedented and anti-people" decision.

Participating in a discussion on the resolution, Banerjee urged the central government to "refrain from anti-people decisions".

"The new government has just taken charge. So this is a reminder to them to be polite and refrain from taking any anti-people policy decision," said Banerjee who before Monday had preferred to remain silent on the issue leaving her party colleagues to raise the banner of protest.

The central government Friday raised the railway passenger fares by 14.2 percent in all classes and freight rates by 6.5 percent. The new passenger fares and freight tariff will come into effect from June 25.

Urging the central government to be "polite and people-minded", Banerjee said the opposition to fare hike by the members of the state assembly should not be considered an anti-Centre stand.

"The central government recently has created an unprecedented situation by increasing freight rates and passenger fares. Due to this, the prices of essential commodities will increase, making the lives of crores of Indians miserable," said the resolution moved by state Parliamentary Affairs Minister Partha Chatterjee and adopted unanimously.

The resolution will be sent to the central government in the form of a letter urging them to roll back the rail fare hike.

Meanwhile the ruling Trinamool Congress Monday began its week-long statewide agitation against the hike by taking out a rally in the city.

Sporting banners opposing the hike, several Trinamool MLA and MPs participated in the rally.

"Thanks to this steep fare hike, many people won't be able to afford the Railways," Trinamool general secretary Mukul Roy said at the rally.

The party's youth wings will take out similar protest marches in the city Tuesday.

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