NEW DELHI: Under pressure from coalition partner, the Trinamool Congress, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday had to accept the resignation of Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi even though he publicly ‘regretted’ the minister’s departure. While replying to the debate on the motion of thanks to the President’s Address in the Lok Sabha, the Prime Minister pointed out the difficulties being faced by the coalition government.
“Members also realise that the difficult decisions that we have to take are made more difficult by the fact that we are a coalition government and we have to evolve policy keeping in mind the need to maintain a consensus. I received late last night an e-mail followed by a formal letter from Dinesh Trivedi tendering his resignation as the Railway Minister,” the Prime Minister said.
He said he proposed “to forward the letter to the President” with “the recommendation to accept” Trivedi’s resignation letter.
“I regret the departure of Trivedi. He had presented a budget that had promised to carry out the Vision 2020 outlined by his predecessor (Mamata Banerjee),” the Prime Minister said.
“A new Railway Minister will be sworn in soon. He will have the onerous duty of carrying forward the challenging task of modernising our railway system,” the PM said.
Mamata Meets PM
However, Mamata made it clear that her party didn’t share the opinion of the Prime Minister. She merely told reporters that the Prime Minister’s remarks reflected his personal opinion. Mamata, who flew down to the capital on Sunday night, met Prime Minister on Monday and discussed various issues. “I had a good meeting (with PM). We discussed a lot of issues,” she told reporters after the meeting.
Rollback of Fares
After meeting the Prime Minister, Mamata also hinted a partial rollback of hike in passenger fares. “We will modify the fares. There is no problem in the hike in upper class fares. W ehave no objection. It is tolerable. But for those who are poor, who travel daily in trains or those who travel in sleeper classes, it matters.” Mamata also expressed her displeasure that the Congress about putting up a candidate--Abdul Mannan-- in the Rajya Sabha elections from West Bengal pointing out that it cannot win the seat without the support of the Left Front.