Mamata convenes TMC meet, Trivedi invited



Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: A day after Dinesh Trivedi decided to quit, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee has invited the outgoing rail minister to a meeting of party MPs on Monday to fine tune the party’s strategy on ‘all issues’, including NCTC.

Mamata, who arrived in the national capital yesterday night, will be present in the Parliament today ahead of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s motion of thanks to the President’s address on the first day of the Budget Session of Parliament.

TMC had moved an amendment demanding that the reference to National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) in Presidential address be removed as many state chief ministers have come out in the open against the formation of the counter terrorism body. The naysayers believe that NCTC goes against the federal structure of India.

Mamata will meet – at 2 pm - all her MPs - 19 Lok Sabha members and six from the Rajya Sabha – and discuss "all issues" and the fine tune party's strategy on day-to-day functioning during the ongoing Budget session.

Dinesh Trivedi who had to quit after his party boss and other party leaders came out in open against his move to raise rail fares, the first in close 10 years, has put up a brave face and played down reports of a rift between him and the party chief.

Speaking to reporters today, Trivedi said, “I would be going for the meeting. Mamataji has invited me. I am certainly a member of the Trinamool.”

On his reluctance to quit as rail minister, Trivedi was quoted as saying by a news channel; “I got stuck in confusion and that is why I called her...She told me that I have to step down...I am a soldier of my party and I have to obey the directions of my party and high command."

Interestingly, he did not forget to tanks the members of the Rail Board, railway employees and the rail workers’ federation for supporting him during his tenure as railway minister. “They have been kind to me,” he said.

His statement gains importance as it comes amid threats by all important railway employees unions to go on a strike if the increase in fares is rolled back.

Clearly the stage is set for a confrontation as TMC appears resolute to roll back the fares after Mukul Roy takes over as Rail Minister.