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Is the Railway Budget an election budget?

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The Railway Budget, the first by a Congress minister in the last 17 years, had no big surprises. No fares were hiked but there was hike in freight rates, reservation charges and tatkal bookings. There will be losses of around Rs. 25,000 crores, but yet there is a plan to hire over one and half lakh new employees and new projects and trains - a large majority of it in Congress-ruled states and Rae Bareli. The opposition and allies like the Samajwadi Party called this a Rae Bareli budget geared for the elections; the Trinamool Congress said Bengal had been ignored.

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