Mamata visiting Odisha to meet injured in train crash to get political dividend: BJP
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee (file photo)

Kolkata: The BJP on Tuesday alleged that West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee‘s visit to Odisha to meet injured people of the Balasore triple train crash was to “get political dividend”.

The saffron camp also claimed that many train mishaps had taken place during Banerjee’s tenure as the railway minister.

The ruling TMC slammed the BJP over such allegations, asserting that the saffron camp was trying to “malign the image of its chairperson to divert attention from the Centre’s all-round failure”.

Claiming that over 500 train mishaps had taken place during the stint of Banerjee in railways, BJP national vice president Dilip Ghosh told reporters, “Didi’s (as Banerjee is called in Bengal) visits to Odisha, two days back and on Tuesday, are to get political dividend only.”

“We all know that over 800 derailments had taken place and 1,400 people died when she was the railway minister. What prevented her from adopting the anti-collision device? Why didn’t she go for the modernisation drive then?” Ghosh said.

During the day, Banerjee visited injured passengers of the ill-fated Coromandel Express, who are currently undergoing treatment in different hospitals in Cuttack.

She visited the eye and surgery department of SCB Medical College and Hospital and interacted with the patients and assured them of all possible help.

“We think the biggest scam happened in the railways during the tenure of Mamata Banerjee,” Ghosh, the former state BJP president, said.

Accusing the BJP of trying to malign the image of Banerjee to divert attention from the all-around failure of the Centre, TMC spokesperson Santanu Sen said, “Whenever the saffron party finds itself in a spot, it resorts to the blame game.”

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“The chief minister has been monitoring the situation in Balasore after the triple train accident on June 2 evening. She rushed to the disaster site the next day to be on the side of the people and again today to hospitals in Odisha. This has made the BJP despondent and they are levelling all kinds of charges against her and the TMC,” Sen said.

The Coromandel Express crashed into a stationary goods train, derailing most of its coaches at 7 pm on June 2. In all, 288 people died in the accident and more than 1,200 were injured.

A few coaches of Coromandel toppled over the last few coaches of the Bengaluru-Howrah Express which was passing by at the same time.

Investigators are looking into possible human error, signal failure and other possible causes behind the three-train crash.

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