Even as top railways officials are apprehensive about the possibility of a witch-hunt being launched against them for recommending a fare hike, beleaguered railways minister Dinesh Trivedi came out in their support: “Why should the officials be targeted? What have they done?”
“I was the one to take a call (on fare hikes) and I take full responsibility. If the officials are unnecessarily targeted, it will be bad for the railways and bad for the country,” Trivedi told Hindustan Times.
Trinamool Congress leaders are keeping their cards close to their chest on the possibility of a clean-up operation at the Rail Bhawan in post-Trivedi phase. “The party has decided that Mukul Roy should be the railways minister, replacing Trivedi. The matter is between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Mamata Banerjee. I am not concerned about other things,” Trinamool Lok Sabha parliamentary party leader Sudip Bandopadhyaya told HT.
Party MP and minister of state for tourism and culture Sultan Ahmed spoke in s similar vein. “Our focus is on removing the key conspirator (Trivedi). We will think about the other issues later”.
Party spokesman and Rajya Sabha MP Derek O'Brian, however, ruled out the possibility of going after railways officials considered close to Trivedi. “As (West Bengal) chief minister Mamata Banerjee has given a free hand to the officials in Bengal, the targeting of railways officials in the post-Trivedi scenario will not happen,” he said.