Ashwini Vishnaw
Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw in a file photo

CPI MP demands Vaishnaw's resignation; Modi, others condole Odisha train accident

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CPI MP Binoy Viswam has demanded the resignation of Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw following the triple-train accident in Odisha on Friday.

At least 50 people were killed and more than 350 injured in the horrific crash in Odisha involving the Bengaluru-Howrah Superfast Express, the Shalimar-Chennai Central Coromandel Express and a goods train, officials said.

“Government concentrates only on luxury trains. Trains and tracks of common people are neglected. Odisha deaths are the result of it. Rail minister should resign,” Viswam said in a tweet.

Vaishnaw said he was “rushing to the site in Odisha”. “Rescue teams mobilised from Bhubaneswar and Kolkata. NDRF, State govt. teams and Airforce also mobilised,” he tweeted.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and others condoled the deaths.

“Deeply anguished to know about the loss of lives in an unfortunate rail accident in Balasore, Odisha. My heart goes out to the bereaved families. I pray for the success of rescue operations and quick recovery of the injured,” said President Droupadi Murmu, who hails from Odisha.

Modi tweeted: “Distressed by the train accident in Odisha. In this hour of grief, my thoughts are with the bereaved families. May the injured recover soon.”

“The train accident at Balasore in Odisha is deeply agonizing. The NDRF team has already reached the accident site, and other teams are also rushing to join the rescue operation,” said Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

“My heart goes out to the bereaved families. Wishing for the speedy recovery of those injured,” said Rahul.

Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge said: “We urge the authorities to expedite rescue operations & provide relief to the injured.”

“Shocked to know that the Shalimar- Coromondel express, carrying passengers from West Bengal, collided with a goods train near Balasore today evening and some of our outbound people have been seriously affected/ injured,” tweeted West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. “We are coordinating with Odisha government and South Eastern Railways for our people’s sake.”

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin, in a tweet in Tamil, said he was in touch with the Naveen Patnaik government in Odisha, and assistance was being given to stranded passengers. The Coromandel Express was headed to Chennai.

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