NEW DELHI: Even after losing to Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi in Lok Sabha polls, HRD minister Smriti Irani on Thursday signaled her continued interest in Amethi by demanding better railway facilities in the region.
During a meeting with railway minister Sadanand Gowda, Irani demanded fast-tracking of projects, which were sanctioned during UPA regime for the region but got struck, sources said.
Irani, who gave tough challenge to Rahul, demanded upgradation of railway station at Gauriganj, headquarters of Amethi district and stoppage of some trains passing through.
The HRD minister demanded announcement of new trains connecting Amethi with Allahabad in the railway budget to be presented early next month.
Irani's fresh move surprised many as it gave an indication that the Modi's confidante wants to nurture Amethi, considered as a Gandhi family pocket borough.
Minister of state for railways Manoj Sinha told TOI, "We will consider most of the demands made by Irani."
After the meeting, Irani said, "I came here to become voice of people of Amethi."
During her campaign, Irani had highlighted Congress first family's failure to fulfill the 20 year's old promise to upgrade Kasimpur halt as a better station.
Towards the end of the UPA's tenure, Rahul laid the foundation of the long-pending Uchahar-Salon-Amethi rail line project. The railways had also started construction of Rae Bareli-Akbarganj-Faizabad new line (116km), and doubling of the Utaratia-Rae Bareli (66km) and Rae Bareli-Amethi (60km).
Most of these projects like new railway lines, electrification and a 'Rail Neer' plant at Amethi were announced in last year's rail budget.