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Lalu: My figures are not wrong

Last updated on: July 10, 2009 

Image: RJD leadaer and former railway minister Lalu Prasad.
Photographs: B Mathur/Reuters
With his claims of the turnaround of the Railways coming under the scanner, former railway minister Lalu Prasad on Friday rejected the charge of juggling profit figures, insisting that he had nothing to fear despite the white paper promised by his successor Mamata Banerjee.

"Let the white paper come before the House. My figures are correct. Some people think money has been kept in almirahs. It's a matter of record. The minister himself does not make statistics. There should not be any confusion about it," the RJD chief told reporters outside Parliament.

Lalu repeated his demand for bringing out the white paper on working of Railways under his tenure within seven days.

Lalu: My figures are not wrong

Image: Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee.
Photographs: Parth Sanyal/Reuters
Lalu Prasad also accused Banerjee of failing to give dividend to railway employees during her previous stint as railway minister.

"Will anybody be able to make statistics of earning through jugglery. It is completely wrong. . . That's why I said bring a white paper within seven days and see all the records. What is there to fear if one is true," he added.

"Let the white paper come before the House. My figures are correct. she (Banerjee) will give her figures. It will be clear what is in her mind. If there is some confusion, it should be cleared," Prasad added.

"It is being said that Lalu will get a seat in the back rows. What differences does it make? Lalu is not going to be lost with this," he added.

Lalu: My figures are not wrong

Image: Passengers travel in an over-crowded train.
Photographs: Krishna Murari Kishan/Reuters.
On the surplus funds with the Railways which Lalu had put at Rs 90,000 crore (Rs 900 billion), Banerjee had on Thursday said that a corpus of Rs 8,361 crore (Rs 83.61 billion) remained after expenditure of Rs 13,600 crore (Rs 136 billion) on account of Pay Commission award last year and Rs 2,600 crore (Rs 26 billion) this year.

It was seen as undermining Lalu's tall claims. The Rashtriya Janat Dal leader sought to clear the issue of surplus funds saying he had mentioned the sum after keeping the expenditure amount out of it.

Lalu: My figures are not wrong

Image: Janata Dal (United) leader Nitish Kumar.
Photographs: Reuters
Meanwhile, accusing Lalu Prasad of misleading the nation on the issue of Railway profits during his tenure as minister, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Friday said the RJD leader had been "exposed" and should apologise to the country.

"From Prasad's claim of the Railways achieving a cash surplus of Rs 90,000 crore to (Railway Minister) Mamata's disclosure of cash surplus of around Rs 8,000 crore in hand after she took over charge at Rail Bhavan, the jugglery of figures in the budget with respect to the profits is amply evident," Kumar said.

Kumar said that he had always wondered how a man who"ruined" Bihar for 15 years was "doing exceedingly well" on becoming the railway minister and receiving appreciation from even the prime minister.

Alleging that Prasad had "hoodwinked and misled" the nation and the people, Kumar, a former railway minister, said it was "the biggest-ever offence" committed by any public servant in office since Independence.

"Prasad owed an explanation to the nation and people," Kumar said, adding the RJD supremo should apologise to the nation.

"A person who earned laurels and sobriquets of being a management guru and was invited by several management institutions in India and abroad for lectures for hollow claims of the turnaround by the Railways stands exposed now," Kumar claimed.

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