Trinamool rules out threat to UPA

New Delhi: Trinamool Congress today ruled out any threat to the UPA government but insisted that Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi should go.

"We are supporting the government totally," Trinamool Parliamentary Party leader Sudip Bandyopadhyay told reporters. He was asked whether the government was stable or it faces any threat.

Asked whether Trivedi would remain as Railway Minister, he said, "Trivedi is an individual.Trinamool Congress is of the opinion that he should not remain as Railway Minister unless he withdraws the hike in passenger fares in the railway budget.

"But this morning the situation has changed an apparent reference to party leader Mamata Banerjee`s demand to replace Trivedi with Minister of State for Shipping Mukul Roy," he said.

Bandyopadhyay asked "can there be a situation when Mr Pranab Mukerjee would not consult the Prime Minister or Sonia Gandhi".

Angered by Trivedi`s proposal contained in the Railway Budget on Wednesday, Banerjee had written to the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh seeking his removal and replacement by Roy.

Bandyopadhyay said the party MPs would meet the Prime Minister today and take up the party`s objection to inclusion of NCTC issue in the President`s address.

To a question whether TMC would support amendment to the President`s address on the NCTC issue moved by BJP because its own amendment has been rejected, he said, "We will cross the bridge when we come to it".

In reply to a query that Mukul Roy was no acceptable to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Bandopadhyay said, "Roy can be the all out and the best acceptable person in the Railway Ministry… We have given a letter to the Prime Minister for a change in the Railway Ministry."

On whether Trivedi will be removed or dismissed from Party, he said, "We have not yet thought about this issue as there are so many other important things to do."

Asked if Trivedi was invited by the Party for taking part in the dharna in Parliament for protesting several issues including rail fare hike, the Trinamool spokesman said he was informed about it through SMS.

On whether Trivedi was asked to resign from his post, Bandopadhyay said, "We have no information whether someone has resigned or not."

Asked if Trivedi was defying party diktats, Bandopadhyay said, "We have not given any orders to him. Our party leader and MPs want that Mukul Roy should be given this Raliways Ministry.

"Mamata Bannerjee has written a letter in this regard to the Prime Minister but it has no mention of removing anybody."

On whether the party had asked Trivedi to rollback the fare hike before taking any action, he said, "I had talked to Trivedi for rollback along with other MPs from the party within ten minutes after the budget was presented."