Assam's students body critical of Rail Budget for NE

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Guwahati, Feb 27 (UNI) The All Assam Students Union (AASU) today maintained that the Rail Budget has 'ignored' the North East and meted out 'injustice' to the region.

Taking to reporters here, AASU advisor Dr Samujjal Bhattacharya said ''As in past years, the rail budget has again betrayed the North East. We had expected that the budget will bring hope in the railway sector, but it has not been the case.'' Reacting to the announcement of appointment of licensed porters as gangmen, he said ''It is a fact that all porters are of Bihari community and this move is clearly a politically-motivated one.

This will deprive the NE unemployed youths of employment opportunities even in lower grades in the railway sector.'' He reiterated that the AASU had been demanding the reservation of grade C and D posts in the railways for youths of the region in NE, but Railway Minister Lalu Prasad's move goes against this long-standing demand of the people of the state.

He maintained that the three new trains in the state were not sufficient. He also criticised Mr Prasad for remaining silent on other demands from the region, including double track, construction of over-bridges in the main railway stations, introduction of electric trains and full-fledged functioning of the rail coach factory in Bongaigaon in Assam.

''The Railway Budget once again proves that rulers in New Delhi believe that there is no India beyond Kolkata,'' Dr Bhattacharya said, adding, ''There has been injustice to NE and no point of help for the region in the Railway Budget.'' UNI SG ADG AKJ HS1441

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