A BJP leader from Amritsar Laxmi Kant Chawla, after 10 hours late ride of Saryu-Yamuna train advised Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Railways Minister Piyush Goyal to forget bullet train and focus on current railway services.
“For god’s sake, forget the bullet train and focus on the ones already running,” she says in her recorded video that has gone viral on social media.
Chawla, a former Punjab minister, was travelling AC-3 on the Saryu-Yamuna train on December 22 and had been stuck for an extra 10 hours when she made the mobile phone video. Reports suggest the train from Amritsar to Ayodhya was delayed by many more hours.
“My only appeal to the government and PM Modi is, please take pity on us common people. The trains are so broken down… We have suffered so much difficulty in the past 24 hours, the train changed direction and is running late, but no one is giving us any information. There is no food arrangement for people spending extra 10 hours on the train,” said the veteran leader, who used to be a college lecturer before joining politics.
“Forget about those trains that run at 120 km or 200 km per hour. People are on the footpath, there is no waiting room and people are sleeping in the open in such biting cold – Piyush Goyal ji and Modi ji.” She also talked about corrupt railway officials demanding bribe.
Chawla said she had tried every helpline advertised by the railways and had even mailed the minister, but the helpline appeared to be “only for the newspapers”.
“The Shatabdi and Rajdhani are for the wealthy. What about this train, used by the poor, the labourers, the soldiers…” she questioned and advised the railways minister to travel on such trains and see for himself what the masses go through. “Modi-ji, people are upset. I don’t know who has seen acche din (good times), certainly not the common man.”
Known for her outspokenness, Chawla headed the ministries of health and social welfare.
A journalist Chitleen K Sethi tweeted with the video of Chawla. You can watch here.
Senior @BJP4India leader from Amritsar Laxmi Kanta Chawla tells @narendramodi & @PiyushGoyal to “forget” about #bullettrain and instead focus on those already running.
She made this video aboard the Saryu-Yamuna train which was delayed by 14 hours.
Part 1 of the video: pic.twitter.com/dC0ZEyk1ge
— Chitleen K Sethi (@ChitleenKSethi) December 24, 2018