LDF, UDF welcome railway budget

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Thiruvananthapuram, Feb 26 (UNI) The ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) and the Opposition Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) today welcomed the Railway Budget presented by Union Minister Lalu Prasad.

They said the state got its due share in the budget.

Opposition leader Oommen Chandy said the intervention of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Union Ministers from the state helped in getting a good railway package for the state.

The Coach factory at Kanjikode and four new trains were welcome, he said.

Stating that the state's demand for a separate zone was not included in the budget, state railway minister M Vijayakumar said it was a welcome note that the electrification and doubling could be completed soon with the money allotted for the same in the budget.

Meanwhile, the BJP in the state came down heavily on the railway budget. Senior BJP Leader O Rajagopal said development of the railway in the state was not possible unless a zonal division was formed.

The Malabar Chamber of Commerce and Malabar Train Action Committee in a release hailed the railway budget as a 'people-friendly' budget.

The proposal to cut ticket fares in certain categories was a welcome relief for the commuters, the release said.

They also welcomed the proposal to set up a railway coach factory in the state.

However, it said, the budget had by and large ignored Malabar region as the commuters in the region would not be benefited by some of the newly announced trains.

UNI PN/PCH MSJ KP2001

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