New Delhi: Putting up a brave face after he was forced to quit as Railway Minister for hiking passenger fares, Dinesh Trivedi said on Monday that “he was nobody’s pawn” and he had always acted in the interest of the country.
Asked whether he had been used as a “pawn”, Trivedi said “I am not anybody’s pawn”. He was speaking after meeting party Chief Mamata Banerjee, a day after he quit as rail minister.
He refused to answer questions on the controversy surrounding him and his Rail Budget that proposed an across the board passenger fare hike, saying “I won’t get into politics… I have been trained to think for the country, country is far bigger than an individual.”
While stating he had only done his duty, the minister praised Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and described him as “one of the best prime ministers”.
“I must thank honourable PM for being extremely supportive,” he said.
On the ‘advice’ he would give to his successor, Mukul Roy as per reports, Trivedi said, “I am no expert to say something for anybody.”
Trivedi finally decided to quit yesterday after speaking over phone with Mamata Banerjee, who was upset with the minister after he raised passenger fares in the Rail Budget presented last week.
Reports said in the wake of pressure from the TMC, the government could go in for a partial rollback.
It has already acceded to its demand of replacing Trivedi with TMC MP Mukul Roy, who is also Minister of State Shipping.