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Trinamool to hit the streets Monday against rail fare hike



Kolkata, June 22 (IANS) After the opposition Congress and the CPI-M, West Bengal’s ruling Trinamool Congress would hit the streets from Monday in protest against the hike in train fares.

Trinamool national general secretary Mukul Roy said his party would organise a week-long agitation across the state where its MPs, legislators, office bearers and members of mass organisations affiliated to it would take part.

The party would bring out a rally from College Square to Rani Rashmoni Avenue in central Kolkata at 2 p.m. Monday. "Our MPs, MLAs and office bearers will participate in the rally," he said.

"We will protest through the week across the state. All our frontal organisations representing the students, youths, women and workers will be part of the agitation."

The Communist Party of India-Marxist-led Left Front held protest demonstrations in a large number of railway stations of all the 19 districts Saturday.

Leader of opposition in the state assembly and CPI-M politburo member Surjya Kanta Mishra led the demonstrations at the crucial Howrah and Sealdah stations, accusing the BJP led National Democratic Alliance regime in New Delhi of starting its journey by implementing "anti-people policies".

"This is only the beginning. The Gujarat model is now being enforced across the state. People didn’t understand in the run up to the Lok Sabha elections what it stands for. Now they have started to realise".

"The government should answer why the monthly ticket fares have been doubled. The fares for air-conditioned classes and first class have not been doubled. Then why has it been done for the classes availed of by the poor and middle class passengers?"

West Bengal Pradesh Congress chief and former minister of state for railways Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury lashed out at the NDA. "They have bypassed parliament. The fairs have been increased through the back door. Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi had promised to usher in "acche din" (good days). But now it seems bad days are here."

Activists of the Socialist Unity Centre of India (Communist) staged a noisy demonstration outside the Raj Bhavan and clashed with police when the latter tried to stop them.

"We strongly condemn this unjust and phenomenal rise in railway charges, we call upon the common people to launch vehement protests to repel attacks on their life and livelihood," SUCI-C general secretary Provash Ghosh said in a statement.

The government Friday raised the railway passenger fares by 14.2 percent in all classes and freight charge by 6.5 percent.

The new passenger fare and freight rates will come into effect from June 25.

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