Minister Wrecker
Image Credit: Cian Ginty

Minister Wrecker

 
 

It seems apparent to everyone except India’s disastrous railway minister, Mamta Banerjee, that Maoist rebels caused the recent derailment and accident involving a passenger and goods train in Jhargam, West Bengal that killed nearly 150 people.

Banerjee insists an explosion triggered the accident and blames West Bengal’s Left-Front government, which has naturally responded by trashing the allegation and expressing horror at it. Banerjee is on course to form the next West Bengal government and she has been at violent odds with the state’s ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist, or CPI-M, (not to be confused with the Maoists) for decades.

On the other hand, Banerjee has Maoist sympathizers within her Trinamool Congress party ranks and among its ‘intellectual’ leadership. Previously, the Maoists have assisted her in polls. Trinamool Congress did spectacularly well in the last general elections and may form the next West Bengal government where voting is due early next year.

Enjoying this article? Click here to subscribe for full access. Just $5 a month.

The Union railway minister’s problem though is that her UPA-II coalition allies in the national government aren't buying her explosion theory for the train accident.

Union home minister P.Chidambaram, while willing for a Central Bureau of Investigation inquiry, has said the ‘needle of suspicion’ points to the Maoists, one of whose leaders previously ‘confessed’ to a newspaper his ‘regrettable’ involvement in the train accident.

It's amazing that West Bengal voters don't see through their ‘didi’ or sister, as Banerjee, who never married and leads a Spartan life, is endearingly called. While Banerjee is bone honest and a brilliant political activist, she is equally a disastrous administrator who will do to West Bengal what she has done to the railways, which is run it down.

Newsletter
Sign up for our weekly newsletter
The Diplomat Brief