New Delhi: A high drama was enacted in the
Parliament House today with Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi
holding official meetings with former counterpart Lalu Prasad
and top officials in the corridor in the absence of a room.
"It is an insult to the Railway Ministry," a bitter
Following interventions by Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh, West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress
supremo Mamata Banerjee as well as Parliamentary Affairs
Minister Pawan Bansal, the issue was finally resolved and he
was allotted room number 6 which has been the office of the
Railway Minister for several years.
The matter was raised by Minister of State Sudip
Bandopadhyay with the prime minister who instructed Bansal to
resolve the matter. Bansal also spoke to Mamata on phone to
inform her that the matter has been resolved.
The controversy began yesterday when this room, which
has been the seat of erstwhile Railway ministers Mamata, Lalu,
Nitish Kumar and C K Jaffer Sharief, was alloted to
Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni.
But later it was learnt that it has been re-alloted to
Trivedi yesterday itself. However, when Trivedi arrived for
the scheduled meeting with Prasad this afternoon, he saw his
nameplate missing. So he sat on a bench in the corridor and
held meetings with Prasad and Chairman Railway Board (CRB)
However, Trivedi clarified that the meetings with Lalu
and CRB chief in the corridor were not in protest. "If my name
plate has been removed the how can I enter the room. So it was
(sitting on the bench) not in protest.
"I am not fond of any particular room. It is not for
the minister`s comfort but to facilitate MPs meeting in the
Parliament House. It is an insult to the Railway Ministry
which has 14 lakh employees."