When Members of Parliament cutting across party lines started questioning the newly appointed Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal on inordinate delays in completion of railway projects, a candid Bansal told his colleagues in the Rajya Sabha, “Railways is one department where we have been making various announcements for new projects,” then stressed the point, “in response to vociferous demands raised by honourable members from time to time.” He then went on to add, “That has landed us in a situation, we must all admit today, where there is a humongous throw-forward of projects, both in physical terms and, concomitantly, in financial terms.” It was then the turn of Samajwadi Party leader Naresh Agarwal. He congratulated the railway minister that “after a long time of captivity, (the ministry) has finally been unshackled” — obviously hinting at the ministry becoming a hostage to the whims of political parties, including the Trinamool Congress and previously the Rashtriya Janata Dal.
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