The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has issued the following statement:
The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) strongly condemns the announcement of ‘flexi fares’ announced by the Railway Ministry for Durunto, Shatabdi and Rajdhani trains. This provides for an increase in fares upto 50 per cent over and above the normal fares for 90 per cent of the seats. This scheme however, excludes the highest class of travel i.e. AC I and Executive Chair reflecting the pro-rich bias of the government. This demand-driven scheme is a mask to cover a sharp hike in fares for 90 per cent of the passengers.
The Indian Railways plays a very important role in unifying our country and is a public service for the vast majority of our people. This cannot be treated as a profit-making enterprise of the government. If this model were to be made applicable to other public services like government hospitals, fire brigade and the police who will respond on the basis of demand at a given point of time, it would amount to a complete abdication of the government in providing public services to the people.
The CPI(M) would like to caution the people that this is a prelude to extending ‘flexi pricing’ to other trains as well in the coming days. This would in turn mean imposition of severe burdens on the vast majority of our people who are already suffering from high inflation, low wages, growing unemployment and other miseries.
The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) demands the immediate roll back of this anti-people measure.