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Mamata knew about rail fare hike, hints Trivedi

NEW DELHI: Indicating that Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Bannerjee knew about proposals in the rail budget presented by him, former Railways Minister Dinesh Trivedi today said his sacking wa

Published: 20th March 2012 07:31 PM  |   Last Updated: 16th May 2012 06:39 PM   |  A+A-

NEW DELHI: Indicating that Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Bannerjee knew about proposals in the rail budget presented by him, former Railways Minister Dinesh Trivedi today said his sacking was a "foregone conclusion" and the fare hike was not the reason behind it.

Without taking any name, he said a bureaucrat close to Bannerjee was in the know of things and he had "every reason to believe that my leader (Mamata Bannerjee) knew" and said a senior journalist had commented on March 8 itself that Trivedi would be removed from office after the rail budget.

"Without naming anybody, a bureaucrat close to my leader was absolutely in the know of things and he told me that if I don't do this (fare hike), railways will collapse... the reason for which I talked to him was to inform the leader," Trivedi told Times Now.

He said he had "no reason to believe that the bureaucrat would not communicate (to Bannerjee)". The former Railways Minister said "very strangely" a senior journalist on the day of Holi on March 8 said Trivedi would not be Railways Minister after the rail budget.

"I have every reason to believe that my sacking has nothing to do with fare hike or budget. It was a foregone conclusion. It doesn't matter whatever budget I would have had presented, I would have been gone," he said. Trivedi was Railways Minister for eight months but had to go after angering his party supremo Mamata Banerjee by raising the fare in the rail budget.

Mamata had asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to replace Trivedi by her trusted aide Mukul Roy. Trivedi resigned on Sunday and Roy was sworn in as Railway Minister today.



BJP questions PM on Trivedi's ouster

NEW DELHI: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Tuesday questioned the resignation of Dinesh Trivedi as railway minister saying that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee were equally responsible for a proposed rail passenger fare hike.

Initiating the debate on the rail budget in the upper house, BJP leader Balbir Punj said there was a "mystery" behind Trivedi's resignation. He said: "Railways, which is the life line of the country's economy, should not suffer due to the compulsions of coalition politics."

"Is it not correct that the prime minister and the finance minister had given their blessings to the rail budget presented by Trivedi? Should these two not be questioned," Punj said. He also said that both had lauded Trivedi's budget, but he was later forced to resign.

"It's like being lauded by the headmaster of the school, and then being rusticated." The Trinamool Congress MP, Trivedi, who presented the rail budget last week, was forced to resign as the railway minister after his party leader and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjere expressed objection to a hike in passenger fares introduced by him.

Trivedi was replaced by another Trinamool member Mukul Roy Tuesday as the new railway minister. Punj said the speculations on Trivedi's survival started even before he finished the presentation of the rail budget. - IANS



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