Party says in Kolkata that no letter will be sent to defiant Railway Minister in this regard

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

Asked by journalists about resignation of Mr. Trivedi, Ms. Banerjee passed the buck to the Centre stating that “the Government has to decide” on the matter. She was speaking to journalists at the State Legislative Assembly after four candidates of her party filed nominations for the upcoming Rajya Sabha elections.

“You can talk to Kalyan Banerjee, he is our chief whip. I have said whatever I had to say. I cannot comment everyday. Government has to decide,” she said.

Ms. Banerjee made her choice for the candidate to succeed Mr. Trivedi evident when she addressed Mukul Roy, the party's all-India 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. 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 the Railway Minister]. Let there be a glorious departure on your part; before you are sacked you should resign,” said Mr. Banerjee.

He said Mr. Trivedi replied that before he resigned as Railway Minister the “chairperson should inform him in writing” about 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,” he said.

However, after a meeting at the Secretariat with Ms. Banerjee, Sudip Bandyphdhyay, leader of the party in Parliament, told journalists that no letter would be sent in this regard. “Letter? What letter..?” he quipped.

Hours after Mr. Trivedi presented his first Railway Budget in Parliament this past Wednesday proposing an increase in passenger fares, the Trinamool Congress opposed the budget and demanded a rollback on the fare hike.

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 the Prime Minister had received a communication from Ms. Banerjee, Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee had told Parliament on Thursday that the matter was under active consideration of the Prime Minister.

He had said that “as and when a decision is taken, the House will be informed”.

  • Mamata says it is for the Centre to decide on the matter

  • “Mukul Roy is Railway Minister in waiting….our candidate for the post”

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