India's biggest communist party called for rallies in defence of affordable rail fares on Thursday after Railways Minister Dinesh Trivedi announced the first fare increase in eight years.
Mr Trivedi of the populist TMC said on Wednesday that fares for second-class and sleeper-class travel in express trains will be increased along with freight charges for key commodities like coal, foodgrains, and steel.
The Communist Party of India (Marxist) said the rises "will adversely impact millions of rural migrant workers, employees and small entrepreneurs who often travel thousands of miles."
The party called for mass protests, warning that the government was "gradually destroying the Indian railways through false promises, gross mismanagement and inefficiencies."
TMC leader Mamata Banerjee condemned the rise, and called on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to sack Mr Trivedi and replace him with another TMC MP.