Mamata flags down Rail Budget; Trivedi quits?

Reports suggest that a roll back in fare hike is expected after March 16 and TMC MP Mukul Roy is likely to replace Trivedi as the railway minister.

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: Upset with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s decision to sack him, Union Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi on Thursday tendered his resignation to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Mamata Banerjee last night had written a letter to the Prime Minister to name her Trinamool colleague Mukul Roy as railway minister after her nominee Dinesh Trivedi hiked passenger fares, a decision which the TMC chief vehemently opposed.

Mamata wrote the letter to Dr Singh after Trivedi refused to back off despite TMC supremo’s strident criticism.

Reports suggest that a roll back in fare hike is expected after March 16 and TMC MP Mukul Roy, considered very close to Mamata, is likely to replace Trivedi as the railway minister and may be sworn in on Sunday or Monday.
The incident came at the end of a dramatic day that saw rapid developments beginning with Trivedi proposing across the board hike in railway fares for the first time in 10 years.

It is being said that Mamata also spoke to Congress leadership in Delhi to press for Trivedi’s removal and is said to have been assured that her demand would be accepted.

The Congress core group met at the Prime Minister`s residence here late last night and weighed options to deal with the demand made by Trinamool Congress chief.

The action of the West Bengal Chief Minister came late in the night after Trivedi`s stout defence of his proposal for across-the-board increase in rail fares to net Rs 4,000 crore in the Budget.

Mamata`s decision has plunged the UPA government in an unusual political crisis. This has created an unprecedented situation in the country`s parliamentary history when a minister is sought to be removed even before the budget presented by him has been discussed in Parliament.

The TMC has also threatened to move a cut motion against the fare hike.

TMC supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee declared publicly that she would not allow the hike in fares which Trivedi proposed.

However, Trivedi stuck to his guns saying he has done his duty and he was not afraid of losing his job.