Mumbai: A Shiv Sena MLA and his supporters “held up” an express train at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus here for almost an hour seeking a berth of his choice.
He later justified his act saying it was meant to expose “unprofessional approach of railway officials” towards the grievances of passengers.
The incident occurred on Wednesday night when Hemant Patil, a legislator from Nanded, did not allow 9:10 pm Devgiri Express to depart till 10 pm by repeatedly pulling the chain after he got upset over being alloted a “side” berth in a second AC coach.
Apart from inconveniencing nearly 2,000 passengers of the train, the incident affected schedule of at least two long-distance trains.
Though the MLA stuck to his demand that he be given a berth of his choice, the railway officials refused to oblige.
According to a senior railway officer, this act of Patil is a serious offence under the Railway Act.
Giving a new twist to the controversy, Patil said MLAs like him were allotted side berths whereas other passengers were allotted the lower berths which they “secured by buying tickets from a racket of agents”.
The MLA said what he did was not in his personal interest.
“The fight was not for my personal interest or (out of) any vengeance. I raked up this issue to bring to fore the lackadaisical and unprofessional approach of senior railway officers. I have got many complimentary messages on my phone appreciating my efforts,” he said.