Tripura Congress slams Left Front's claim on Railway expansion

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Agartala, Aug 12 (UNI) The Opposition Congress in Tripura today accused the ruling Left Front of misleading the people about the party's contribution to the development of railway in the state, by trying to project it as their success.

Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Ratan Lal Nath told newspersons that first Tripura Chief Minister Sachindra Lal Singha, who was from the Congress, had placed forth the demand of railway expansion in the state.

Mr Singha had also raised the issue of statehood in 1963 when he was elected as the Tripura Territorial Council Chairman, Mr Nath informed.

After attaining statehood in 1972, the then Tripura Chief Minister Sukhomoy Sengupta, also from the Congress, had echoed the demand of Mr Singha regarding the expansion of railway in Tripura for better and sustainable connectivity with rest of the country in the Indira Gandhi-led National Development Council (NDC) meeting.

Even the initiatives for expansion were launched by Congress leaders and the survey work for Agartala-Sabroom rail track-laying, sanctioned in the current fiscal, was also carried out during the Congress regime in the early nineties, Mr Nath informed.

He added that the Kumarghat railway station was inaugurated by former Chief Minister Samir Ranjan Barman, from the Congress.

He also pointed out that the first 17 km railway route in Tripura had become operative following the persuasion of Mr Singha and expansion work of railway upto Agartala was done by the Manmohan Singh government at the Centre.

''But the Left Front in Tripura has been misrepresenting the historical facts and projecting that the railway expansion is the fruit of their struggle,'' he said.

''In fact, the Left Front government delayed the expansion work because it failed to tackle insurgency and provide other logistics support, including land, to the railway authorities, and if the Railway Ministry had got full support from the state government, the rail coach could have reached Agartala few years ago,'' he added.

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