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Chouhan slams rail budget as disappointing

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Bhopal, Feb 24 (UNI) Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan today described the rail budget as ''disappointing'' saying that Madhya Pradesh was ignored.

''The state's development is being affected for want of expansion of rail facilities. Several proposals are pending with the ministry and a number of reminders have been dispatched,'' he said, as per an official release issued here.

They included adequate provision for gauge conversion of the Jabalpur-Gondia track, Ramaganj-Bhopal line and Lalitpur-Khajuraho-Tikamgarh-Panna-Singrauli line; extension of the Satna-Rewa line to Mirzapur; Indore-Manmad new line; laying of a third line between Jhansi and Itarsi; providing status of a full-fleged coach factory to a local unit; electrification of the Allahabad-Itarsi line; extension of the Howrah-Jabalpur Shaktipunj Express here; introduction of a Raipur-Rewa passenger train; construction of underbridges and extension of platforms, the release added.

On the other hand, Madhya Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) President Subhash Yadav said, ''In keeping with the common man's sentiments, passenger and freight fares were not increased while passenger facilities were considerably enhanced. The railway minister (Lalu Prasad) deserves to be congratulated.'' Lambasting the budget as imbalanced, state BJP President Satyanarayan Jatia said the UPA government took no initiative for providing relief to middle and lower classes.

''A discriminatory policy was adopted while allocating trains to states,'' he alleged.

Lauding the budget as unprecedented, MPCC General Secretary Manak Agrawal welcomed the decision introducing 55 trains.

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