Opposition parties on Thursday demanded the immediate rollback of the Railways' new surge pricing system, which effectively increases fares on Rajdhani, Duronto and Shatabdi trains. Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's model is to "loot from the common man and give relief to his industrialist friends".
At the All India Congress Committee briefing, the party's chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said the new pricing system has come as a "rude shock". "Railway surge pricing is the Modi government's ugly gift to India during the festival season," he said. Surjewala criticised the decision to leave first class and executive class fares unchanged, saying it reflected the "suit-boot Modi government's true face".
Aam Aadmi Party Chief Arvind Kejriwal tweeted, "I am in the Shatabdi right now. Spoke to several people. Everyone is against Modi government's surge pricing."
Passengers travelling by Rajdhani, Shatabdi and Duronto trains will have to pay an extra 10%-50% (calculated on the base fare) under the dynamic surge pricing system, depending on the number of seats booked on the train. The new fares will apply for tickets booked on and after September 9. The government hopes to make an additional Rs 500 crore from the scheme this financial year.