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Left parties slam hike in rail fares

New Delhi: Left parties on Wednesday slammed the government's decision to hike rail fares, calling it "unjustified" and demanded a rollback in fares for non-AC travel.

The CPI(M) Politburo said the hike in the fares of second class, sleeper and suburban fares was "particularly unjustified as they will burden the ordinary people who are already suffering from all-round price rise."

Demanding the withdrawal of the fare hikes in all categories "except the top two classes - AC I and AC II", the CPI(M) accused Railway Minister P K Bansal of showing contempt for Parliament by announcing the fare hikes "just a month before the Railway Budget is to be placed in Parliament."

The party asked its units to organise protests against the "new burden being imposed on the people."

Observing there was "no rationale" behind increasing the fares, CPI National Secretary D Raja said the hike would have a cascading effect on the people who were already burdened with price rise.

"It is a distressing trend that the government is increasingly succumbing to the pressures from the corporate who demand slashing of subsidies to the poor and hiking of various charges," he said, demanding a rollback of the decision.

Maintaining that the railways needed more revenue, Raja said the Minister "should have found other ways to raise resources than by burdening the people."

(Agencies)

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