Midnight oil has been burning at the Rail Bhavan for the last few days with Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee herself putting final touches to the Railway Budget.
According to sources at Rail Bhavan, Mamata Banerjee is personally involved in the whole process of Budget preparation. Generally known to be a "workaholic" working late in office, for last few days Mamata has been monitoring work till 2 am.
While preparing her speech, she takes care of everything. She prefers even to put staples and pins herself. If she has to phone or SMS that also she does it with her own hand," sources say.
She has already held number of meetings with members of the Railway Board, different Directorates of Indian Railway also give inputs for the Budget.
It his her personal staff which co ordinates all the interaction and compilation of inputs. Executive Director (Budget) and Additional Member (Budget) are the hub of all the Budget related activities.
The Public Relations Directorate feeds the Railway Minister with all the news clippings on important speculative stories, public demands and reactions besides transcripts of discussions and issues raised in television channels, which Mamata Banerjee goes through.
As they sit past midnight Mamata Banerjee even if she has two biscuits pays for it herself. She surprised many when she asked for the bill for biscuits the first time, sources say.
She is remembered to have taken Rail Budget to Parliament in a "thaila"(cloth bag) instead of the customary brief case.
Her style is clearly different from her predecessor Lalu Prasad Yadav when files used to go back and forth between Lalu and Railway Board whether Lalu was in Bihar or in Delhi. Approvals were taken from the Minister for every paragraph which was put in the Budget and changes were made which the Minister insisted, sources said.
Once after the Railway Budget had gone for printing Laluji wanted a reduction being made by one rupee and "we had to get that whole page reprinted," a source added.