Drama over call to sack Railway minister Dinesh Trivedi rocked Lok Sabha with the opposition seeking an explanation from the government, which claimed that communication from Trinamool Congress chief Mamta Banerjee was under “active consideration”.
“The Railway Minister has not resigned,” said leader of the house and finance minister Pranab Mukherjee as Trivedi flanked him in the front row of treasury benches.
As soon as the house commenced its proceedings, the BJP moved an adjournment motion claiming that future of Railway budget was uncertain. Speaker Meira Kumar did not allow the motion but asked Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj to speak.
Swaraj wanted to know the fate of the budget which has now become property of the House and what the government proposes to do.
Mukherjee hit back at the opposition, particularly BJP, saying "It is not unusual in a coalition government (to come across such problems).
“Those who ran a coalition government for six years know well how many times they had to deal with the coalition partners....These gentlemen know much better than anybody else," he said, adding that house will be informed when the government takes a decision on Banerjee’s communication seeking replacement of Trivedi with another Trinamool MP Mukul Roy.
Trivedi, however, appeared defiant and said that his duty was to get the Railway budget passed in Parliament. “I will not run away from my duty. He added that if Banerjee or Prime Minister asks him to resign, he will do so.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told reporters outside the Parliament that "if anything like this develops, we will consider it".
Leader of Trinamool Congress in the House Sudip Bandopadhyay said his party members have not asked the Railway Minister to tender his resignation. "The matter has to be settled between my leader and the Prime Minister," Bandopadhyay said.
Trivedi, who had incurred the wrath of Banerjee for proposing an across-the-board hike in passenger fares, smiled when Swaraj raised the issue.