Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi, for the first time, did not mention West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress president Mamata Banerjee's name in his press conference, while showering praises on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at the release of a report on modernisation of the Indian Railways on Monday.
When a reporter sought to know the need for the report authored by Sam Pitroda when Ms. Banerjee's ‘Vision 2020' also contained most of these recommendations, Mr. Trivedi said the report was an improvement on several counts.
A week ago, Mr. Trivedi avoided distinguishing between the ‘Vision 2020' document and the Anil Kakodkar report on safety issues. He had always stated that the Vision 2020 document was the Bible to him.
Mr. Trivedi has been seeking to send a message of urgency to his party chief after failing to implement most of the reforms that he intended to usher in to ensure the financial viability of the Railways, with revenues plummeting and expenditures rising.
Mr. Trivedi said both the Prime Minister and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee were championing the cause of modernisation of the Railways and were putting their heads together to accomplish the goal.
“The Prime Minister has inspired me as the captain of this reform. I'm grateful to the PM for inspiring me. The PM is no magician to wield a magic wand. The FM is on board.”
Notwithstanding the overlapping in the recommendations of the Kakodkar committee and that of Mr. Pitroda, the Railway Minister was hopeful of going about his job in putting in place a Rs. six-lakh crore scheme for modernisation and safety recommended by the latter.