Dinesh Trivedi paid for his adventurous decision to raise passenger fares in the railway budget 2012-13 -- a decision his populist predecessors Mamata Banerjee and Lalu Prasad dared not to take for the past eight years.
Known to be erudite and affable, Trivedi (61) has been with Banerjee since the inception of Trinamool Congress and was rewarded with a Cabinet berth for his loyalty to her, but differences said to have cropped up between them for quite some time.
But things came to a head when he proposed a stiff across-the-board hike in passenger fares in the railway budget on Wednesday to net Rs 4,000 crore extra a year.
He effected increase in suburban and non-suburban fares, ordinary second class mail and express fares, sleeper class, 1st class, all AC class travel and Rajdhani, Shatabdi, Duranto and Janshatabdi trains.
Elevated from the post of minister of state for health and family welfare, Trivedi had stepped into the shoes of Banerjee, who held the railway ministry before becoming the Chief Minister of West Bengal in May.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had been holding the Railways portfolio after Mamata's exit from the Centre.
Trivedi has been actively fighting criminalisation in politics. He has filed several public interest litigations including Vohra Committee (The Right to Information Act is a fall out of his petition on Vohra Committee). He is also actively involved in consumer protection movement.
Trivedi had also reportedly offered to resign in a letter written to Anna Hazare within first few hours of his fast for a strong lokpal bill at Jantar Mantar on April 5.
Trivedi had told the social activist that he is ready to do anything to strengthen his fight against corruption. He has been associated with Hazare and Arvind Kejriwal for many years.
Elected to the Rajya Sabha twice, Trivedi defeated CPI(M) heavyweight Tarit Topdar from Barackpur constituency in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections. He had entered the Upper House on January one, 1990.
A former Congressman who switched over to the V P Singh-led Janata Dal, he did his B Com from St Xaviers' College, Calcutta University, and MBA from the University of Texas.
He was actively involved in students' affairs in India and abroad and held the post of President of International Students' Association, University of Texas.
An aviation buff, Trivedi also holds a pilot's licence.