NEW DELHI: After asserting in the House that the Trinamool Congress ‘had not asked Union Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi to resign’, TMC Parliamentary Party leader and Union Minister Sudip Bandopadhyay changed track outside the House and said the party’s ‘only priority is the complete rollback of the fare announced in the Rail Budget’.
“Our priority is the complete rollback of the hike. The government has to decide how they have to do it. They can either do it after the discussion on the Rail Budget or before that,” the minister said. He, however, added that the party hoped that ‘the rollback will be announced by a new minister’. Bandopadhyay had a meeting with Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, who reportedly impressed upon the former to take a ‘reconciliatory line in his public utterances’. After heeding his advice for sometime, Bandopadhyay, however, returned to a hardline stance and said the Congress had also ‘agreed to the principle that in a coalition the parties send names of those who are to be inducted into the council of ministers or change the names’.
Trivedi, meanwhile, stuck to his position and said he would present the same Rail Budget if he was asked to present the Budget again. Trivedi also said neither had he been contacted by Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee nor he had spoken to her yet. When it was pointed out that the fare hike proposals were contrary to his party’s policy, he said: “I have done it for the Railways and the country... not for party. If I have to please my party then I am not doing my work.”
On the possibility of fare hike rollback, he said the Budget was in Parliament.