The Congress on Thursday termed the hike in railway fares by the Narendra Modi-led government as "Tuglaki Farmaan" and demanded its rollback.
"Battling rising price of essential commodities and runaway food inflation, the latest decision by (Narendra) Modi government to impose 'Surge Pricing' through 'flexi fare system' in Rajdhani, Duronto and Shatabdi trains is a rude shock for the ordinary people of India," Congress leader Randeep S Surjewala said in a statement.
"It is high time the Modi government realises its mistake and rolls back this 'Tuglaki Farmaan'," he demanded.
The Left and the AAP also criticized the move.
CPI (M) in a statement said, "This scheme, however, excludes the highest class of travel AC I and Executive Chair, reflecting the pro-rich bias of the government.”
"This demand-driven scheme is a mask to cover a sharp hike in fares for 90 per cent of the passengers," the statement added.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal too demanded a rollback.
"AAP strongly opposes surge pricing in railways and demands that it should be rolled back," Kejriwal tweeted.
"I am in Shatabdi right now. Spoke to several people. Everyone is against Modi government's surge pricing," the Chief Minister said in another tweet.
Indian Railways on Wednesday announced flexi pricing in its three premium trains of Shatabdi, Rajdhani and Duronto.
According to the new fare system, the base fares of these trains will increase by 10 per cent with every 10 per cent of berths sold subject to a prescribed ceiling limit.
Surjewala said the base fares will rise subject to a maximum hike of 50 per cent for all AC 3-tier, AC 2-tier and Chair Car.
"This means with the rising demands of tickets, the prices will automatically increase to a limit of 1.5 times," he said.
He alleged that the surge pricing was "an underhand tool to collect Rs 1,000 crore annually by burning pockets of honest middle class families," who still see the railways as the only cost affective and viable option of travel despite its shortcomings.
Surjewala said the decision to implement surge pricing from September 9, ahead of the festival season of Dussehra, Diwali, Chhat Puja, Onam and Eid-ul-Azha, proves the "anti-people mindset" of the Modi government.