Odisha Train Tragedy: Senior Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Ajit Pawar launched a scathing attack on the Centre and Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw and termed the Odisha train accident a failure. He further asserted that Railways Minster should resign from the post by taking moral responsibility for the tragedy. While interacting with reporters in Maharashtra's Nagpur city, Pawar said that the minister's resignation will not change the heart-wrenching situation, however, it would send out a message to the railway officials.
"In the past, five railway ministers resigned taking moral responsibility for major accidents (during their tenure). In the same way, the current railway minister (Vaishnaw) should take moral responsibility and tender his resignation." "His resignation won't solve the issue, but it would send out a message to the officials," the Leader of the Opposition in the Maharashtra Assembly said.
Pawar targeted Centre over issue of railway passengers' safety
"The government is planning to start bullet trains in different parts of the country. Similarly, Vande Bharat trains are being started and many routes have been privatised. But while doing all this, so many innocent people lost their lives despite no fault of theirs," Pawar said.
Train accident took place because of some fault in the signalling system
"So many innocent lives were lost even as a revolution is taking place in transportation technology. This is a failure of the railway department and the government," the former Maharashtra deputy chief minister said.
Pawar also demanded a high-level inquiry into the accident without any interference, He asserted that the facts should be brought before the public.
The NCP leader said, "The Odisha train accident is very unfortunate. The country has never seen such a big train accident before. The railway department and the government should immediately investigate it and take action against those responsible."
Centre, railway ministry should give utmost priority to safety of passengers
"Earlier, railway ministers used to resign whenever such accidents occurred. This is history. But nobody is ready to speak about it now," he said.
As per the latest updates, at least 261 people were killed and over 900 injured in the train crash that occurred in Odisha's Balasore district around 7 pm on Friday. The accident involved the Bengaluru-Howrah Superfast Express, the Shalimar-Chennai Central Coromandel Express and a goods train. This train crash is the fourth deadliest in India according to available records, PTI reported.