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Lalu got lifetime free travel award
Published on 10 Jun. 2009 11:01 PM IST
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A complimentary pass for life to travel in a first class air-conditioned coach for self and three companions. This was, perhaps, the last largesse doled out to Lalu Prasad during his final days as railways minister. And this controversial order issued May 19, a copy of which has been obtained by IANS, has been challenged. The largesse also extends to former ministers of state for railways - nut in their case, a sole companion and one attendant can be issued free tickets in the same categories of coaches as for their senior former colleague. “This issues with the concurrence of the finance department of ministry of railways,” said the order issued by a joint director in the Railway Board, adding it is also “pleased” to amend the rules. The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has asked Railways Minister Mamata Banerjee to revoke the pass, terming the decision taken by the Railway Board as “unethical”. “The election results were announced on May 16 and the decision has been communicated to the general managers of Indian Railways on May 19,” said BJP leader Ram Naik in a letter to Banerjee. “It is my firm belief that taking such a decision benefiting himself personally after the results of Lok Sabha election is improper and unethical,” said Naik, who is himself a former minister of state for railways with independent charge. “I request you to review the decision and withdraw the additional facility which has been given. Reviewing decisions taken by former ministers and/or the former government in the last month is the usual administrative exercise.”

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