Rashtriya Janata Dal chief and former railway minister Lalu Prasad claimed the Narendra Modi-led government wanted to hand over the railways to the private sector.
"This is the first major blow to the people by the Modi government. Such a hike is unprecedented, whenever BJP comes, they bring along price rise," the RJD leader told media persons.
Janata Dal-United leader and former Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, who also served as railway minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA government, said: "This is no ordinary hike, this is a huge hike. They (the government) are setting a wrong precedent by hiking fare when parliament session is coming."
Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader Brinda Karat said it will increase the burden on people.
"This is going to be a huge burden on people when they are already battling relentless price rise," she said.
The government on Friday raised the railway passenger fares by 14.2 percent in all classes and freight charge by 6.5 percent.
The new passenger fares and freight rates will come into effect from June 25, the railway ministry said in a release.