New Delhi: Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee on Sunday gave a virtual ultimatum to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to sack Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi within 24 hours, sources said.
Firm on the removal of Trivedi, the Trinamool supremo yesterday asserted that it was time for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to act on her plea to replace Trivedi with Mukul Roy.
"I have already said whatever I have had to say. Now the government has to decide. Mukul Roy will be our candidate for the Railway minister," Mamata had said.
Meanwhile, Trivedi has reacted strongly, saying, “The Railway Ministry is no one’s property.”
Trivedi on Saturday dared Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee, asking her to give him the resignation order in writing.
Trivedi’s reaction came when Trinamool Congress chief whip in Lok Sabha Kalyan Banerjee telephoned Trivedi and asked him to make a “gracious exit” and not wait to be sacked.
Trinamool Congress has rejected Trivedi’s demand that party supremo Mamata Banerjee should say so in writing to him.
"Nothing will be given in writing," Trinamool Congress parliamentary party leader in Lok Sabha Sudip Bandyopadhay told reporters.
Trinamool Congress has been gunning for Trivedi’s head ever since he announced hike in passenger fares in the Rail Budget 2012-13 presented on Wednesday.
After Trivedi presented his maiden Rail Budget, party supremo Mamata Banerjee shot off a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh seeking his dismissal and replacement with her trusted aide Mukul Roy.
The West Bengal Chief Minister had spoken to the Prime minister on Thursday and is believed to have been assured on replacement of Trivedi.
The development came after the party put Trivedi on notice that it may replace him if he does not rollback the hike in passenger fares proposed by him in the Rail Budget 2012.
However, Trivedi stuck to his guns saying he has done his duty and he was not afraid of losing his job.
Taking on his own party, the Railway Minister had said, “I am a Minister of Government of India. For me, my country comes first before anything else.”
Dinesh Trivedi episode 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 government was thus faced with a war within which could have serious consequences on its stability.