Kolkata, July 11: Defying the Prime Minister's directive to visit the derailment site in Assam, Trinamool leader and Minister of State for Railways Mukul Roy on Monday evening left for the Maoist-hit Junglemahal area in West Bengal where Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was also visiting.
‘As per schedule, he has left for a two-day tour to the Maoist hit areas where Mamata Banerjee is also to visit,' Trianmool sources said.
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh asked Roy to visit the site of the blast in Assam that derailed a passenger train, leaving at least 100 people injured, official sources said.
However, Roy kept himself busy during the day in the state assembly where four Trinamool Congress candidates filed their nominations for the Rajya Sabha.
When contacted, Roy refused to give a categoric reply on the prime minister's directive to him to visit the accident site where the Guwahati-Puri Express derailed near Ghograpara in Nalbari district.
Regarding the Howrah-Kalka Mail disaster in Fatehpur district of Uttar Pradesh, where at least 69 passengers were killed in an accident, Roy replied: ‘Whatever queries you have, you put to Mr (K.H.) Muniappa. He is looking after the entire matter.'
Roy earlier told a television channel that he was only one of the ministers of state, while the prime minister was the cabinet minister. ‘The prime minister is the minister for railways. I am only a minister of state.'
A Northeast Frontier Railway official said: ‘We have not yet received any official communication about Roy's visit.'
However, Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) MP and former chairman of railway standing committee Basudeb Acharia said ‘Now there seems to be a feud in the Trinamool Congress with Mukul Roy not happy over the likely elevation of Dinesh Trivedi (Trinamool Congress MP and MoS health and family welfare) as cabinet minister for railways.'