Thiruvananthapuram: Hours after the train tragedy in Odisha, CPI leader and MP Binoy Viswam criticised the BJP-led central government for neglecting the maintenance of trains and railway tracks. He noted that the railway ministry's lackadaisical attitude led to the accident.
Taking to Twitter, Binoy Vishwam alleged that the centre only concentrates on luxury trains and demanded railway minister Ashwini Vaishnaw's resignation.
"Government concentrates only on luxury trains. Trains and tracks of common people are neglected. Orissa deaths are the result of it. Rail minister should resign," tweeted Binoy Viswam.
Meanwhile, opposition party leaders, while expressing condolences over the deaths of more than 200 passengers in the Odisha train accident, have raised questions about the signalling system of the railways which purportedly led to the crash.
Nearly 288 people were killed and over 900 injured in the crash involving the Bengaluru-Howrah Superfast Express, the Shalimar-Chennai Central Coromandel Express and a goods train on Friday.
"Stunned & distressed to hear the tragic news of the Coromandel Express & Yashwantpur-Howrah train crash in Odisha. My fervent prayers for those affected & their families. ...That an alleged signalling failure led to 3 trains crashing is shocking beyond belief. There are serious questions which need answering," TMC spokesperson Saket Gokhale tweeted.
CPI(ML) general secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya too raised the same question.
"Do we no longer have any signalling and safety system in Indian railways? Or will such terrible tragedies become the new normal for rail travel in India? We owe an answer to the victims and to the families who lost their near and dear ones in this mishap," he said in a tweet.
Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge and former party chief Rahul Gandhi had on Friday expressed sadness over the train tragedy in Odisha and urged party workers and leaders to extend all support needed for rescue efforts.
(With PTI inputs)