Kolkata: Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee is back playing politics over Friday's derailment of the Howrah-Kurla Lomanya Tilak Gyaneshwari Super Deluxe Express train in West Bengal.
Addressing a press conference media in Kolkata on Saturday Mamata made no mention of Naxal involvement in the derailment of the Gyaneshwari Express, saying the tragic mishap was a political conspiracy by her opponents as she had many "enemies".
"It is surprising how political conspiracy is being played out on the eve of municipal elections and everyone is blaming Mamata for it (the derailment)," said the Railway Minister.
She also dismissed the theory that removal of fish plates may be one of the causes behind the derailment in which at least 114 people have been killed and over 200 others injured.
She claimed that removing fish plates was not possible on the long welded tracks on which the train was running when it derailed at about 1:30 AM on Friday between Khemasoli and Sardiya stations near Jhargram, about 150 km from Kolkata.
"There are no fish plates. This is a long welded track. There is no question of removing the fish plates," she said.
She also added that for an investigation by the Central Bureau of Investigation into the Gyaneswari Express derailment.
However, CPI-M Leader Sitaram Yechury lashed out at Mamata saying the charges made by her were absurd and she was trying to cover the lapses by her ministry.
"This is a very cynical and absurd charge. She is trying to cover up for some serious lapses by her under her leadership. Her patronage to Maoists is well known and she wants to cover up that possible role. Whether it exists or not that has to be investigated. Instead of leading the country in this time of national tragedy we have a case where charges are being hurled by the Minister. All this is done keeping in mind the municipal corporations polls tomorrow (Sunday)," said Yechury.
Meanwhile, an FIR has been filed by the train driver of Gyaneshwari Express claiming that he heard a loud noise which seemed like an explosion just before the train derailed. The train driver also claimed that he saw smoke coming out from the wheels.
No Naxal organisation or the Naxal-backed People's Committee against Police Atrocities (PCPA) has been named in the FIR. The train driver is also believed to have sounded an alert for the goods train which later rammed into the stationary Gyaneshwari Express and made the tragedy even worse.