New Delhi, Feb 26: Celebrations today broke out at the New Delhi railway station as porters welcomed Railway Minister Lalu Prasad's budget announcement, to appoint porters as gangmen and to other Group D posts.
A group of porters danced in joy and shouted slogans like 'Lalu Prasad Zindabad' and 'Jab tak sooraj chand rahega, Lalu tera naam rahega'. Jaideep Prasada, a porter said, ''There had been so many Railway Ministers and so many budget announcements. But none cared for us. Mr Prasad is the first one, he has given us 'azaadi' (freedom).'' Another porter, Raghuvir, who is now in his fifties, was, however, a bit sceptical.''I do not know whether I will be considered or not. But I can work as hard as anybody else.'' ''But in any case, I welcome the announcement, as it will do good to a lot of my ilk,'' he said.
However, a Railway department officer, refusing to be named, said it was a difficult proposition to implement the proposal.
''Gangmen have to work round-the-clock at the tracks and are recruited through a selection process. It will be difficult to incorporate porters into their cadres. Let's see how it works out.''