Trivedi pays for hiking passenger fares

Last Updated: Sunday, March 18, 2012 - 21:59

New Delhi: Dinesh Trivedi paid for his
adventurous decision to raise passenger fares in the Railway
Budget 2012-13 -- a decision his populist predecessors Mamata
Banerjee and Lalu Prasad dared not to take for the past eight
years.

Known to be erudite and affable, Trivedi (61) has been
with Banerjee since the inception of Trinamool Congress and
was rewarded with a Cabinet berth for his loyalty to her, but
differences said to have cropped up between them for quite
some time.

But things came to a head when he proposed a stiff
across-the-board hike in passenger fares in the Railway Budget
on Wednesday to net Rs 4,000 crore extra a year.

He effected increase in suburban and non-suburban fares,
ordinary second class mail and express fares, sleeper class,
1st class, all AC class travel and Rajdhani, Shatabdi, Duranto
and Janshatabdi trains.

Elevated from the post of minister of state for Health and
Family Welfare, Trivedi had stepped into the shoes of
Banerjee, who held the Railway ministry before becoming the
Chief Minister of West Bengal in May.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had been holding the
Railways portfolio after Mamata`s exit from the Centre.

Trivedi has been actively fighting criminalisation in
politics. He has filed several public interest litigations
including Vohra Committee (The Right to Information Act is a
fall out of his petition on Vohra Committee). He is also
actively involved in consumer protection movement.

Trivedi had also reportedly offered to resign in a letter
written to Anna Hazare within first few hours of his fast for
a strong Lokpal bill at Jantar Mantar on April 5.

had told the social activist that he is ready to do
anything to strengthen his fight against corruption. He has
been associated with Hazare and Arvind Kejriwal for many
years.

Elected to the Rajya Sabha twice, Trivedi defeated CPI(M)
heavyweight Tarit Topdar from Barackpur constituency in the
2009 Lok Sabha elections. He had entered the Upper House on
January one, 1990.

A former Congressman who switched over to the VP Singh-
led Janata Dal, he did his B Com from St Xaviers` College,
Calcutta University, and MBA from the University of Texas.

He was actively involved in students` affairs in India
and abroad and held the post of President of International
Students` Association, University of Texas.

An aviation buff, Trivedi also holds a pilot`s licence.

PTI



First Published: Sunday, March 18, 2012 - 21:59

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