New Delhi: A day after proposing fare hike in the rail budget which has threatened his job, a defiant Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi on Thursday said he would repeat the same if asked to present the budget again.
Trivedi, whose sacking has been demanded by Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, also said neither has he been contacted by Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee nor he has spoken to her yet. "I would do the same if I am asked to present the budget again," Trivedi told reporters here.
Trivedi has in his budget proposed upto 20 per cent passenger fare hike in the rail budget for 2012-13, inviting the wrath of Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee who has written Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to sack him.
When it was pointed out that the fare hike proposals were contrary to his party`s policy, he said "I have done it for the Railways and the country...not for party. If I have to please my party, then I am not doing my work."
On the possibility of fare hike rollback, Trivedi said "the budget is in Parliament and I will be guided by Parliament. Parliament will be guided by the wisodom of people."
Referring to Lokpal, he said "why Lokpal has come..? Because of the wisdom of the people. If Parliament tells me to cut down, then I will say okay I am cutting down on safety.
But then do not blame me if something happens on safety." Invoking Rabindranath Tagore, Trivedi said he is inspired by the great poet one of whose poems reads "where the mind is without fear and the head is held high. It is all symbolic."
In an apparent dig at Mamata without naming her, Trivedi said "what is the point of having Tagore`s music at traffic junctions and not following him..? " Mamata, after becoming Chief Minister, has ensured playing of Tagore`s songs at key traffic intersections in Kolkata.
"I want to carry myself with dignity. I follow the teachings of Tagore. That is why I invoke Tagore. My mind is without fear and head is held high", said the Railway
"I am receiving congratulatory messages from people from every walk of life across the country for the rail budget", Trivedi claimed.