Trivedi quits as Railway Minister

New Delhi/Kolkata: Dinesh Trivedi resigned today as Railway Minister ending his defiance and bringing to a close five-day drama after he incurred the wrath of Trinamool Congress for hiking passenger fares in the Railway Budget. On Saturday Trivedi (61) insisted that he would not resign unless his party boss Mamata Banerjee directed him to do so in writing, told reporters in Delhi that he called her up to confirm the real position.

“She did tell me that it was the party`s decision that I must step down and since the party, Trinammol Congress, was instrumental in making me the Railway Minister and Mamata Banerjee`s instructions were very clear that it is the party which has decided and like a soldier I must obey the party`s discipline. That is the way I have been trained.”

Trivedi`s decision is understood to have come after a word from the PMO to him to quit. The Congress leadership and the Prime Minister had assured Mamata that her demand for replacing Trivedi will be acceded after the presentation of the general budget on Friday last. In Kolkata, Mamata, the West Bengal Chief Minister, confirmed the development saying Trivedi called her to tell her that he was resigning.

“He(Trivedi) called me and he told me that he will abide by the party decision and send his resignation,” Mamata told PTI before heading for Delhi. She also said that Trivedi told him that he will remain with the party. In his virtual farewell comments, Trivedi said, “I must thank the party leader Mamta Banerjee and the entire cabinet and the Prime Minister Manmohan Singhji for giving me this opportunity.

“I tried my level best to do whatever little I could do and in the interest of the Railways and in the interest of the country. I am very very happy. I must take this opportunity to thank the Railway Board and my 14 lakh employees of the rail parivar.”