A tragedy that struck at Elphinstone Road station has provided the Shiv Sena a potent salvo to fire at its frenemy ahead of its annual Dussehra rally. Uddhav Thackeray is expected to raise the 22 stampede deaths in his speech at Shivaji Park in an attempt to take the wind out of BJP's inflated sails. And the BJP doesn't appear to be in a position to retort as far as failure in managing railways is concerned.
...from all sides
It is not that the BJP government alone is responsible for the mess that the city's crowded network has become; the previous regimes too couldn't achieve anything remarkable. However, BJP's local leaders - incumbent railway minister Piyush Goyal and his predecessor Suresh Prabhu - came under fire as they failed to give solutions despite repeated petitions.
Goyal was scheduled to dedicate 60 more services to the city on Friday with much fanfare, but the stampede changed it all. Even as Sena workers shouted slogans against him at KEM Hospital, demanding his resignation, a visibly disturbed Goyal told media persons that he had asked the Commissioner for Railway Safety to conduct an inquiry, and asked for an audit of all foot overbridges to check capacity and stability.
Batting for city network
Sena MP Arvind Sawant said, "I made an appeal in the Lok Sabha, explained to the government the bad state of affairs, but I was told there's no money." Another Sena MP, Rahul Shewale, said he had written to Prabhu on April 23, 2015, for widening the foot overbridges at twin stations Parel and Elphinstone Road. Sena minister Eknath Shinde said, "Give more powers to local authorities and implement recommendations of Kakodkar Committee that asks for more safety for commuters."
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