Jaitley, who was addressing the Rajya Sabha, hit out at the UPA regime for not taking necessary steps for revival of the Indian Railways. He said the Congress now wants to pass the blame on the NDA government.

“The UPA didn't take tough decisions when it needed to. My UPA friends must understand what situation they left the Railways in. It was running in a loss. Should the new minister follow the weak decisions of the predecessors and let the railway run in a loss or should he do what is essential for the sector?” Jaitley, who also holds the Defence portfolio, said.
 
Meanwhile, leaders of the Opposition parties including the Congress, BSP, CPI (M) and TMC staged a walkout in the Rajya Sabha to vent their ire over the Finance Minister’s reply on the recent rail fare hike.

“The reasons given by the government for rail fare hike are not acceptable. So, the TMC decided to walk out after taking part in the discussion,” TMC MP Derek O'Brien said.

The Budget Session of Parliament got off to a stormy start earlier with the first day in Lok Sabha being virtually washed out on the issue of price rise and rail fare hike as the Opposition insisted on a discussion with an adjournment motion.
    
The Lok Sabha managed to take up just two questions amid uproar created by members of the Congress, TMC, RJD, Samajwadi Party, Aam Aadmi Party and the Left as they trooped into the Well of the House raising the issues of price rise and rail fare hike.
    
The Opposition wanted discussion with an adjournment motion but Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan rejected it, saying a debate could be taken up under Rule 193 that does not entail voting.
    
While the Congress wanted discussion on price rise, Trinamool Congress pressed for debate on rail fare hike with an adjournment motion which requires voting and amounts to censure of the government if it is passed.
    
The Lower House was adjourned twice till 2 pm before being adjourned for the day as the deadlock persisted.

(JPN/Agencies)        

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