Railway minister Dinesh Trivedi is apparently the latest victim of the crossfire between the Congress and his party, Trinamool Congress. Trivedi's party chief Mamata Banerjee, on Monday, snubbed the union cabinet minister allegedly for hobnobbing with Rahul Gandhi.
In a closed-door meeting in her Kolkata office, Banerjee sought an explanation from Trivedi on why he had met the Amethi MP recently. "I hear you met Rahul Gandhi at his residence. Why did you meet him?" she asked, according to sources present at the meeting.
The railway minister said he went to discuss railway projects in Uttar Pradesh. "I knew Rajiv Gandhi from his flying days and I always maintained cordial relations with the family," Trivedi, a former pilot, replied according to Trinamool sources.In the presence of some top officers that included her special secretary Gautam Sanyal and the state's chief secretary, Banerjee quipped that Trivedi was listening more to the Congress leaders than his own partymen.
At one point of time, an irked Banerjee even remarked that, "what is the point in giving advise to Dinesh'da. He is taking suggestions from the Congress."
The Union minister maintained that he was just maintaining a cordial relation with leaders across party line and trying to develop Indian railways.
Trivedi lately has been on a sticky wicket within the party and ran into trouble with the Trinamool boss over his proposals to hike passenger fare in the forthcoming railway budget.
Trinamool sources claimed that Banerjee was irked with the Congress over non-availability of central funds and reacting in her own style. Banerjee's latest rant comes after her party locked horns with the Congress on several issues including FDI in multi-brand retail.
Singhvi hits back
Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi hit back at Bengal's finance minister Amit Mitra, showing details of central allocations to the state.
Singhvi also clarified that he was only talking about allocations of more than R8750 crore and not its disbursals.