Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi’s resignation is under consideration of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee told the Lok Sabha on Monday.
Responding to a brief impromptu discussion on the issue, Mr. Mukherjee, who is the Leader of the House, said Mr. Trivedi has sent his resignation to the Prime Minister last evening and it was being considered.
“The Prime Minister has received last night the resignation letter from Dinesh Trivedi. It is under consideration of the Prime Minister,” he said.
He also said as per the procedure the letter has to be forwarded to the President, who then takes a decision as per the advice of the Prime Minister.
“As soon as a decision will be taken, the House will be informed of it,” he said.
To Opposition leaders’ claims that the House had been kept in the dark, Mr. Mukherjee said on Friday the Prime Minister had received a communication from Trinamool Congress chairperson Mamata Banerjee and Mr. Trivedi had not resigned then.
Mr. Mukherjee pointed out that after the presentation of the Union Budget the Lok Sabha was adjourned till Monday.
He said the government has informed the House of the developments at the earliest opportunity available.
Earlier, Speaker Meira Kumar disallowed notices given by Yashwant Sinha (BJP), Basudeb Acharia (CPI(M)) and Gurudas Dasgupta (CPI) for suspension of Question Hour to discuss the issue.
Mr. Dasgupta had given a notice for suspension of Question Hour, but the Speaker pointed out that it can be allowed only when there was a Motion being discussed in the House.
She, however, allowed the three members to make brief submissions.
Raising the Trivedi issue, BJP leader Yashwant Sinha said the nation was staring at a grave Constitutional crisis and Parliament is completely unaware of it.
“What is happening to the Railway Minister? Has he resigned? Has the Prime Minister sent his resignation to the President,” Mr. Sinha asked.
Mr. Trivedi, who had to resign as Railway Minister after incurring the wrath of his party Trinamool Congress for raising passenger rail fares, was sitting in the fourth row as the leaders spoke.
Mr. Sinha demanded that the Prime Minister come to the Lok Sabha immediately and inform it of the situation.
“We come to know from newspapers. Parliament is not in the know,” he said.
Mr. Acharia said that in his 33 years of Parliamentary career he had never seen a minister being forced to resign in the middle of a session.
Mr. Dasgupta said Mr. Trivedi’s resignation was not an issue as he had quit “gracefully” as per his party’s wish.
“But, a backstage drama is going on when Parliament is in session...Is this the way in which a multi-party government functions? ... It only speaks of the weakness of the government,” he said.