No letter will be sent, make a gracious exit, Trinamool tells Minister

The Trinamool Congress' chief whip in the Lok Sabha, Kalyan Banerjee, has asked Dinesh Trivedi to tender his resignation, but the Railway Minister seems to be unwilling to oblige him, saying the decision has to be communicated to him by party chairperson Mamata Banerjee, preferably in writing.

Asked about the resignation of Mr. Trivedi, Ms. Banerjee passed the buck to the Centre stating the “Government has to decide” on the matter. She was speaking to journalists in the Legislative Assembly complex, after four Trinamool candidates filed nominations on Saturday for the coming Rajya Sabha elections

“You can talk to Kalyan Banerjee. I have said whatever I had to say. I cannot comment every day. Government has to decide,” she said. Ms. Banerjee made evident her choice for the successor to Mr. Trivedi, when she addressed Mukul Roy, Trinamool general secretary and Union Minister of State for Shipping, as “the Railway Minister in waiting…our candidate for the post.”

Earlier in the day, Mr. Kalyan Banerjee spoke to Mr. Trivedi over telephone and informed him that the party wanted him to quit. “I told him that you must understand the situation. The party does not want you [as Railway Minister]. Let there be a glorious departure on your part; before you are sacked you should resign,” Mr. Banerjee told journalists.

He said Mr. Trivedi replied that the “chairperson should inform him in writing” of the party's decision.

In response, Mr. Banerjee told Mr. Trivedi that he became Railway Minister only because the party wanted him to take over. “At that time you did not want in writing that you should take oath as Railway Minister.”

Sudip Bandopadhyay, leader of the party in Parliament, said no letter would be sent in this regard. “Letter? What letter..” he said talking to journalists after a meeting with Ms. Banerjee at the Secretariat.

On March 14, hours after Mr. Trivedi presented his first Railway budget, in which he proposed an increase in passenger fares, the Trinamool opposed it and demanded a rollback. Ms. Banerjee also sent a communication to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh seeking removal of Mr. Trivedi as Railway Minister later in the evening.

Admitting that Dr. Singh had received her communication, Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee told Parliament on Thursday that the matter was under active consideration of the Prime Minister. “As and when a decision is taken, the House will be informed,” he said.