The Trinamool Congress on Thursday said in Parliament that it had not asked its party leader Dinesh Trivedi to resign as railway minister, apparently changing its stance on what it had said a few hours ago.
Trinamool has not asked Railway Minister to tender his resignation, said party leader Sudip Bandopadhyay in Lok Sabha.
Trivedi issue is a matter to be settled between Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, said Bandopadhyay.
Trivedi had earned the wrath of Banerjee after he hiked passenger fares in the railway budget he presented to Parliament on Wednesday. Banerjee on Wednesday night sought to replace Trivedi with her loyalist, Minister of State for Transport Mukul Roy.
But finance minister Pranab Mukherjee told Lok Sabha on Thursday that the Prime Minister had not received any resignation.
"As soon as a decision is taken, the house will be informed," he said.
Giving out the same message in the Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajiv Shukla said: "PM has not received any resignation from railway minister. We have received a communication from West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee but no decision has been taken. The house will be informed when any decision is taken."
What happened in Parliament
Channels of communication between Congress and TMC on the change of railway minister continue to operate with Sudip Bandopadhyay on Thursday holding consultations with finance minister Pranab Mukherjee on the issue in the Lok Sabha on the sidelines of debate on President's Address.
When the debate on motion of thanks on President Pratibha Patil's Address was on, the TMC leader went to Mukherjee's seat to discuss the issue. The finance minister apparently told him something and Bandopadhyay immediately grabbed a notepad to take down the points the Congress leader made.
Soon thereafter, Bandopadhyay went to his seat and after a brief confabulation with other TMC members - including Mukul Roy, whom party supremo Mamata Banerjee has reportedly named as the replacement for Trivedi as railway minister - the party members left the House.
Among those who left in a hurry were former TMC Chief Whip Kalyan Banerjee and Kakoli Dastidar.
Mukherjee also left within a few seconds.
The finance minister had earlier in the day made a statement in the Lok Sabha that Trivedi has not resigned but a request has been received by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh from Banerjee for changing the Railway Minister and the matter is under "active consideration".