Firm on the removal of Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee today asserted that it was time for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to act on her plea to replace Mr. Trivedi with another party nominee Mukul Roy.
“I have already said whatever I have had to say. Now the government has to decide. Mukul Roy will be our candidate for the Railway Minister,” Ms. Banerjee said during the filing of nominations for Rajya Sabha elections by Mr. Roy, the Union minister of State for Shipping, and three others.
She described Mr. Roy, who filed nomination for a second term in the Rajya Sabha from the State, as a ‘loyal soldier’ of the party.
“He has been a loyal soldier of the party. He has served Rajya Sabha for six years. We have re-nominated him. He is our party’s all-India general secretary,” she said.
Ms. Banerjee’s comment came shortly after Trinamool Congress Chief Whip in the Lok Sabha Kalyan Banerjee telephoned Mr. Trivedi in the morning and asked him to quit, but the Railway Minister insisted on a letter from the party chairperson.
Asked to comment on Mr. Trivedi’s stand and Kalyan Banerjee’s telephone call to him, Ms. Banerjee declined to comment saying “ask Kalyan Banerjee who is the party chief whip in Lok Sabha.”
Defends decision not to support Cong.
Ms. Banerjee defended her party’s decision not to support Congress nominees in the Rajya Sabha elections from the State.
As the Trinamool gave a seat to the Congress in the earlier election to the Upper House, the party was this time expected to support the Trinamool in this election, Ms. Banerjee said.