Congress will press the Modi administration on the tragic Odisha railway accident, saying, “We were silent out of respect”

At a news conference today, the Congress party plans to grill the Narendra Modi administration over the railway tragedy that occurred in Balasore, Odisha, on Friday night and resulted in at least 290 fatalities and hundreds more injuries. At a news conference that starts at midday, the head of the Congress’ media department, Pawan Khera, and Rajya Sabha member, Shakti Singh Gohil, will ask the Modi administration “searching questions” about railway management.

Jairam Ramesh, the general secretary in charge of communications for the Congress, criticised the BJP-led government for allegedly sacrificing safety in the “PR campaign of the PM and the railway minister,” claiming that the party had been silent up to this point “out of respect.”

Jairam Ramesh said in a tweet, “Yesterday we remained silent out of respect. At 12 o’clock today, my colleagues @shaktisinhgohil & @Pawankhera will grill the Modi government on railway administration, specifically on safety, which has been jeopardised by the PM and the railway minister’s public relations effort.

He continued by saying that the Congress will probably push for the resignation of rail minister Ashwini Vaishnaw. “Recall that Lal Bahadur Shastri resigned in the wake of the Nov 1956 Ariyalur train disaster & Nitish Kumar did so following the ghastly Aug 1999 Gaisal train tragedy,” he said.

‘Root reason’, according to Rail Minister Vaishnaw
On Sunday morning, Vaishnaw was at the scene of the collision to monitor the continuing rehabilitation work being done to the railway track close to Bahanaga Bazar station. According to the minister, an electrical interlocking modification that pushed the Coromandel Express off the main route and into a loop line where a goods train was already stopped is the likely cause of the accident’s root cause.

“The commissioner of railway safety has looked into the case and has allowed the investigation report to be released, but we have determined the incident’s cause and its perpetrators… Vaishnaw informed ANI that it occurred as a result of a change in electrical interlocking without going into more detail. “Right now, restoration is our top priority.”


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