New Delhi: Congress on Friday gave signals that
the Government was in no hurry about the exit of Railway
Minister Dinesh Trivedi but made it clear that his fate had to
be decided by Trinamool Congress.
The party also gave indications that there appears to
have been a re-thinking over the issue within the ally in last
two days and hence it could buy time at least till the passage
of the railway budget.
At the AICC briefing, party spokesperson Manish Tewari
said the decision over Trivedi was the "internal matter" of
Trinamool Congress but also made it clear that the Railway
Budget was now the "property" of the House and a decision on
it would have to be taken by all.
Significantly, his remarks came close on the heels of
Trinamool Congress leader Sudip Bandopadhyay suggesting that a decision on Trivedi`s fate could be taken any time as his
party supremo Mamata Banerjee held talks with Prime Minister.
"As of now I do not think the country is without a
Railway Minister...we will cross the bridge when it comes," he
said when asked whether Trivedi will reply to the discussion
on the Railway budget likely on Monday or any of a Junior
Minister, the Finance Minister or a new Railway Minister.
A senior party leader speaking on the condition of
anonymity said, "The bottomline is that we are going to run
this government and have to run the government for the full
term and hence will have to deal with these pulls and
He also ruled out the possibility of "forsaking" the
government for anybody.
There is a view in the party that leaders of Trinamool
Congress have mellowed down in the last two days and two days are at hand for working out a more amicable solution.
Responding to queries on whether the government could
take a tough posture if Banerjee remained adamant on immediate exit of Trivedi, a Congress leader said so much depends on the way the talks move.
The leader, however, added, "It`s not that you have
suitors lining up to your doors" thereby indicating that the
government is not likely to take any extreme stand on the
issue like risking snapping ties with Trinamool even as it has
opened channels with the Samajwadi Party, which has repeatedly said it would back the government even if TMC withdraws support.
A section in the party believes that TMC is "not immune
to public opprobrium" and hence its reconsidering the decision
on Trivedi`s resignation cannot be ruled out for the time
being if a partial rollback in fares is effected.
In a bid to keep Mamata Banerjee in good humour, the
Congress is not coming out with a categorical response on the
issue of fare hike with Tewari maintaining that party`s stand
on the specifics of the Railway Budget will unfold in the
House during the debate on it.
The tone and tenor of Trinamool Congress appeared to have
become subdued with Bandopadhyay saying that his party was not in a confrontationist mode.