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Updated: March 8, 2012 14:11 IST

Trivedi in damage control mode after mid-term poll remark

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Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Minister for Railways Dinesh Trivedi leave after a cabinet meeting at South Block in New Delhi. File photo
Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Minister for Railways Dinesh Trivedi leave after a cabinet meeting at South Block in New Delhi. File photo

Railway Minister and senior Trinamool Congress leader Dinesh Trivedi on Thursday undertook a damage control exercise after his remarks that the country may head for a mid-term poll and the Union government was lame duck created a flutter in political circles.

“This was just a forum. The forum is known as Idea Exchange. I have given my opinion as an individual, not as a minister or a Trinamool Congress member,” Mr. Trivedi said a day after claiming that after the results of assembly elections, the Samajwadi Party and even the Trinamool Congress would want to see a mid-term poll so that they “can increase their tally” in Parliament.

Talking to PTI, he said, “As an individual, I have freedom of expression and to analyse the political situation.”

He emphasised that it was merely an idea exchange platform and not a statement on the present political situation.

“As a student of politics, I was analysing the political situation and it had nothing to do with my party or I as a part of the UPA government,” he said.

When asked about his statement that there will be no big ticket reforms that will get passed in the Budget Session, he repeated that it was just an idea exchange.

On whether he was retracting from his views, he said, “I stand by what I have said but you have to understand that it was an idea exchange programme and not my views as a minister or a TC member. It should not be taken in any other context.”

Talking to a leading English daily, Trivedi had yesterday said, “Why only TMC? I feel after yesterday’s results...if I was Samajwadi Party, I would be very happy to have a general election tomorrow so I can increase my tally because I have the momentum. The Trinamool Congress may also be happy to have a mid-term poll now rather than two years later.

“If there is a perception that there is an anti—Congress feeling (in the country), then, obviously, even the BJP would want an election now. So if everybody wants an election, there will be election.”

Leaders close to Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, however, expressed annoyance at Mr. Trivedi’s statement ahead of the Budget Session.

Mr. Trivedi had said given the restiveness of the regional allies and their gains, not much could be expected in the Budget Session of Parliament.

“Today we are almost in a position of a status quo, nothing big ticket will get sanctioned (in Parliament). It will be very difficult even to run this Parliament because everybody is aspiring and everybody feels we are in a critical situation,” Mr. Trivedi had said.

He had also said that “if I am in a situation and a position of a lame duck, then I think it may be a good idea to call it a day,” when asked about the UPA government finding itself in a ‘policy paralysis.’

“A Trinamool Congress minister should not have made such a statement ahead of Budget Session as it creates unnecessary mistrust,” said a senior Trinamool leader.

The TC Parliamentary Party will on Friday in Kolkata during which the issue is likely to be discussed. When asked whether Trivedi will be present there, sources said all party MPs are expected to attend the meet to be chaired by Ms. Banerjee.

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Governance is the responsibility of those in Govt. It goes beyond who wins/loses the myriad State Assembly elections (which put the Country on an election mode constantly). For a responsible Minister to say that "nothing big ticket" will get sanctioned in Parliament - is the height of irresponsibility. They are letting down the people by deliberately imposing a policy freeze. It is the misfortune of the people of India that they have representatives like him.

from:  Hariharan
Posted on: Mar 9, 2012 at 00:24 IST

The Hon'ble Railway Minister instead of making unwanted comments he
should better concentrate on his job. He should work for making
better Railway than making such comments. He has got enormous
responsibility of running a very sensitive department. Timely
running, safety of Railways is very essential. I am in such a place
called Singrauli which is devoid of any facility. There is only one
platform for both UP and Down Direction. There is no double track.
Precious time is lost in crossing of trains. Signalling system is
very old. I am bringing this to his notice because he may not be
aware of it. He should depute some Senior officials to inspect this
station and immediate action should be taken to upgrade this station
and provide facilities of passengers. There are trains which
connects Howrah, for rest of Metros either we have to go to Varanasi
or Jabalpur and in case of emergency, there is no connectivity.

from:  V Anand Krishnan
Posted on: Mar 8, 2012 at 22:47 IST

Being a responsible GOVT minister, he should not talk lose without permission of
his TMC leader; and if he did this blunder, he should be replaced by another TMC
member by Ms. Bannerji to maintain discipline.
The situation will be clear on Friday.

from:  Jodh S Arora
Posted on: Mar 8, 2012 at 17:36 IST

Mr. Trivedi seems to be far removed from reality. He thinks, momentum is with TMC. But, if now a free and fair poll take place in WB, TMC will be hard pressed to win half of the seats won by them last time in 2009. The bad governance and hooliganism of TMC workers and , worsening law and order situation and irresponsible remarks of the ministers, all make the TMC a party unfit for Governance.

from:  Ram Das
Posted on: Mar 8, 2012 at 16:35 IST

Railway Minister's comments are most unwarranted, in bad taste and he indeed looks like a lameduck beside Pranabda in the photograph. How can we have people with such an irresponsible loose talk can have in govt. to rule us but for our misfortune? Can we expect best performance from these people at the helm of affairs is a million dollar mystery?

from:  Vyas K Susarla
Posted on: Mar 8, 2012 at 15:37 IST
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