Trinamool asks Railway Minister Trivedi to quit

New Delhi/Kolkata: Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi, who is in the line of fire of Trinamool Congress, today turned down his party`s directive to quit the post insisting that he wants it in writing from party chief Mamata Banerjee.

Kalyan Banerjee, chief whip of Trinamool Congress in Lok Sabha, called Trivedi over telephone today and told him that the party does not want him to remain as minister. He should make a gracious exit and not wait to be sacked, he was told.

Trivedi told PTI "Kalyan Banerjee told me that Mamata Banerjee wants me to resign. I told him I have respect for Mamata Banerjee and party".

"On the floor of the Lok Sabha Sudip Bandopadhyay (Leader of the parliamentary party) said Trinamool Congress has not asked for my resignation. I do not know which is correct. So, it is better to avoid the confusion. It is best that she should write me a letter asking me to resign and I will definitely abide by her decision," he said.

Kalyan Banerjee said Trivedi told him that he wanted the party`s decision to be conveyed in writing by Mamata, who is also the West Bengal Chief Minister.

The Lok Sabha Trinamool chief whip told him that it was not fair on his part to insist on the party directive in writing, pointing out that when he became a minister he had not insisted in writing about it from the party leader Mamata.

Banerjee said he told Trivedi that as a party man he should understand the situation and make the exit graciously when the party does not want him to remain as a minister.

"You took oath as minister because the party wanted you to do so. The party today does not want you to take oath so you should resign," he said.

Hours after Trivedi presented his budget containing fare hike, the party was up in arms and demanded a rollback. Mamata wrote to the Prime Minister the same night seeking replacement of Trivedi with another party nominee Mukul Roy, Minister of State for Shipping.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and later Prime Minister Manmohan Singh are believed to have talked to Mamata and assured her that Trivedi will be removed after presentation of the Union Budget on Friday.

Mukherjee told Parliament on Thursday that Mamata`s communication to the Prime Minister was under "active consideration".