Sudip consults Pranab on Trivedi issue



New Delhi: Channels of communication between Congress and TMC on the change of Railway Minister continue to operate with Sudip Bandopadhyay Thursday holding consultations with Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on the issue in the Lok Sabha on the sidelines of debate on President's Address.

When the debate on motion of thanks on President Pratibha Patil's Address was on, the TMC leader went to Mukherjee's seat to discuss the issue. The Finance Minister apparently told him something and Bandopadhyay immediately grabbed a notepad to take down the points the Congress leader made.

Soon thereafter, Bandopadhyay went to his seat and after a brief confabulation with other TMC members - including Mukul Roy, whom party supremo Mamata Banerjee has reportedly named as the replacement for Trivedi as Railway Minister - the party members left the House.

Among those who left in a hurry were former TMC Chief Whip Kalyan Banerjee and Kakoli Dastidar.

Mukherjee also left within a few seconds.

The Finance Minister had earlier in the day made a statement in the Lok Sabha that Trivedi has not resigned but a request has been received by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh from Banerjee for changing the Railway Minister and the matter is under "active consideration".

PTI