"My husband is the best Railway minister the country has ever seen."
This was how Rabri Devi, the wife of Railway Minister Lalu Prasad, reacted as she praised his "abilities" after the RJD supremo on Tuesday presented his fifth consecutive budget, which was generally described as a "please all" budget.
The leader of the Opposition in Bihar's Assembly also hailed the budget as yet another "exemplary" one as she disagreed her husband being dubbed as "Railway minister of Bihar". "Laluji is the Railway minister for the whole country and not just for Bihar."
"Ensuring successive profits to the Railways, earlier running in huge loss and giving another exemplary budget for the fiscal 2008-09 have proved Lalu Prasad's abilities. It has proved beyond doubt that he is the best Railway Minister the country has ever seen," Rabri Devi said when asked for her reaction to the budget presented in Parliament.
Rabri also thanked Lalu for favourably responding to her suggestion for job reservation for women in Railways.
"We are also happy to come to know about reserving five per cent posts for women for recruitment in the Railway Protection Force (RPF)," she said, adding this step would ensure protection to women travelling by trains.
"It was a long-pending demand I put forth before my husband and I am happy that he has given due consideration to it in the Railway budget," she remarked.
The former chief minister said women travelling by trains would get special facilities, as special coaches would be arranged for them, which would be guarded by female constables.
She appreciated the Railway Minister for the concessions given to women in fares and making provisions for free travel of girl students for appearing in competitive exams.