February 7, 2015 1:24:04 am
At a function where Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh will flag off Lucknow-Kathgodam tri-weekly express train here on Saturday, Ministry of Railways has extended invitation to several BSP and SP Rajya Sabha MPs including Mayawati, Satish Chandra Misra, Kiranmay Nanda, Naresh Agrawal and Arvind Kumar Singh. However, all of them will give the event a miss.
Rajnath will flag off the train from Charbagh railway station in presence of Union Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha.
Mayawati’s name in the guest list came as a surprise to even her party members as she avoids attending any non-BSP function in Uttar Pradesh or outside the state. Contacted, MP and BSP treasurer Ambeth Rajan confirmed that Mayawati would not be able to attend the Lucknow event “because of Assembly elections in Delhi on Saturday”.
BSP national general secretary and Rajya Sabha MP Satish Chandra Misra could not be contacted despite repeated attempts. A senior railway official, however, confirmed that Misra was not expected to attend the event as BSP supremo Mayawati was also skipping the programme.
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Samajwadi Party MP Naresh Agrawal confirmed receiving the invitation, but said he will not attend the event because as he “will be busy in making preparations for another event scheduled in his home district Hardoi on Sunday which is being attended by party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav”.
Another SP MP, Kiranmay Nanda, too said that he would not attend the event because he will be in Hyderabad on Saturday.
Yet another MP from the ruling party in state, Arvind Kumar Singh, however, said that he has not received any invitation from the ministry or local railway officials. “I will be in Mainpuri on Saturday for a party meeting. I won;t attend the Lucknow event,” Singh added.
North Eastern Railway (NER) PRO Alok Srivastava said that Railways Board sends the names of guests for the function and these names include the MLAs and MPs of the district where programme is being held. But, he could not explain about invitations to Arvind Kumar Singh and Kiranmay Nanda, who do not belong to Lucknow. Arvind’s permanent address in Rajya Sabha has been declared as Ghazipur district while Nanda has declared his Kolkata address.
When contacted, NER Divisional Railways Manager Anoop Kumar claimed that Ministry decides the name of MPs to be guest on events and all these MPs must have been connected to Lucknow.
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