The Trinamool Congress on Saturday demanded the withdrawal by January-end of a Railway's letter seeking West Bengal's consent for discontinuation of eight "commercially non-viable" rail routes and warned of protest on the issue.
"They are insulting the people of Bengal and depriving them of their right. We demand that the Indian Railways and Eastern Railway withdraw the letter sent to the state Chief Secretary," the ruling party's Secretary General and Minister Parth Chatterjee told reporters here.
The Eastern Railway's Commercial Department sent the letter to the state on January 17 to seek consent for discontinuation of the rail routes in Bengal unless the state bore 50 per cent of the losses.
"Our party MLAs and MPs will protest against such a move. We will launch a protest against this from the first week of February if it is not withdrawn by January 31," he said.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has already strongly protested against the proposal and termed it as the Centre's "political vengeance" against the state.
Banerjee, as the then Railway Minister, had tried to "improve the connecting infrastructure between rural and urban areas across the country" and West Bengal was not deprived of such initiatives, Chatterjee said, adding that the Centre had closed about 50 projects and reduced its assistance in about 39 projects.
Chatterjee accused the Centre of shelving projects and initiatives given the nod by Banerjee as the Railway Minister.