Porters give rousing welcome to Lalu Prasad in Patna

February 27th, 2008 - 8:06 pm ICT by admin  

Patna, Feb 27 (IANS) Hundreds of red-shirted railway porters gave a rousing welcome to Railway Minister Lalu Prasad at Patna airport Wednesday. A day after the railway minister announced in the railway budget that porters across India would be inducted as class four employees, porters gathered here to welcome him.

Lalu Prasad, who reached here Wednesday afternoon, was given a rousing and traditional welcome by hundreds of railway porters. He was welcomed with drumbeats. The porters shouted in his praise and danced to popular music tunes.

It was a time to celebrate for porters who were joined by jubilant workers of Rashtriya Janata Dal.

“Lalu Prasad deserves the post of prime minister to take care of the poor and the marginalized sections of society as he has announced he would provide us with railway jobs,” Manglu Paswan, a porter, said.

However, Lalu Prasad disappointed the porters at Patna airport since he did not alight from his vehicle. He went directly to the official residence of former chief minister and his wife Rabri Devi.

But porters have no grievance against him. “Lalu Prasad’s party workers told us that he would meet us later,” the porters said. They said they were disgusted with the word “coolie” and they were happy that the railway minister described them as “Lal Sena”.

Licensed porters are not employees of the Indian Railways. They are merely contracted to offer their services to passengers.

Like elsewhere in the country, porters at Patna railway station Tuesday distributed sweets following the railway budget announcement that they will be inducted to the post of gang men.

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