Mamata should quit as railway minister: CPI-M

New Delhi, May 31 (IANS) Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee should quit on account of her ‘good relationship’ with Maoists, the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) said Monday.

Accusing the minister of having a ‘good relationship’ with those who derailed a train in West Bengal killing at least 145 people, CPI-M leader Basudeb Acharia asked the Trinamool Congress chief to resign from the cabinet on moral grounds.

‘She (Mamata) has no moral right to continue as a member of the union cabinet. She enjoys good relations with the Maoists as well as the leaders of the People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCAPA), the frontal organisation of the Maoists,’ Acharia told IANS.

He accused Banerjee of protecting the Maoist leaders, who he said were to blame for the derailment of the Howrah-Kurla Gyaneshwari Express in Jhargram in West Bengal Friday.

‘It is the duty of the Railway Protection Force to oversee the safety of the tracks in Maoist areas. They failed to do it. The minister failed to act on time. I’ve not seen such a dismal performance by any other railway minister,’ said Acharia, who heads the CPI-M in the Lok Sabha.

‘Mamata is the worst railway minister the country has ever seen.’ he said.

‘Now the media has interviewed the real mastermind, a PCAPA leader, who has admitted his role in the accident.’

On Saturday, Banerjee demanded a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the train disaster, calling it a political conspiracy ahead of Sunday’s civic polls.

The CPI-M leader, who was chairman of the parliamentary standing committee on railways in the first United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, said the railways failed to provide security to its passengers.

A day after municipal elections in West Bengal, the veteran MP claimed that the Left Front, which suffered a huge setback in West Bengal in the 2009 general elections, would improve its tally in the civic polls.

‘We are expecting an improvement over the Lok Sabha election,’ he said. The civic poll results will be declared Wednesday.