New Delhi. Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee, who is rather busy drawing up strategies for the upcoming West Bengal assembly elections, has asked former Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav to work “part-time” on the Railways Budget to be presented in parliament this Friday. Lalu Yadav, whom Mamata earlier accused of inflating profit figures of Railways, has been offered a consultancy fee of 10,000 rupees per hour if he agrees to help.
“Laluji, I guess you are anyway jobless these days after being defeated in the Bihar assembly elections,” a polite letter sent by Ms. Banerjee read, “How about taking up a part-time job in Railways? You can earn thousands daily sitting at home, If interested, please contact me.”
With just two days to go before Railways Budget is presented, it’s not clear what kind of help Mamata Banerjee is expecting from the former Railway Minister, but experts believe Lalu could help.
“He can write a good budget speech; full of jokes,” an expert pointed out the skills of Lalu Yadav, “Since this budget may not be a populist one, it might not be a bad idea to at least get a populist speech.”
Mamata Banerjee has refused to explain her rationale behind the offer, but sources inform that the Railway Minister had been focusing only on a few pet projects, which had delayed preparations on other counts, such as security features and the budget speech.
“One of her pet projects is to announce a new rail named after Sourav Ganguly,” a source revealed, “It is aimed at attracting some of the disgruntled sections in West Bengal towards her party ahead of the elections.”
Sources also inform that earlier Ms. Banerjee had asked Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee to take care of Railways Budget along with Union Budget as well. Only after Pranabda refused, Mamatadi requested Lalu Yadav.
Apart from this unusual request, what is attracting media and public attention is the high rate of consultancy fee being offered by Ms. Banerjee at a time when Railways is seeing a decline in profits.
“Lalu Yadav can easily earn up to 2 lakhs in two days if he takes up the assignment,” Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar calculated, “This is more than what his young cricketer son would make by playing Jharkhand Premier League next month. This doesn’t make sense at all.”