Mamata gets her way, Trivedi quits
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Four days after he presented the Railway Budget — and earned the ire of his party leadership for his proposal to hike passenger fares — Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi resigned from the Union Cabinet on Sunday evening, hours before Trinamool Congress chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's arrival in New Delhi.
Trivedi, who had asserted on Saturday that he would not resign unless Banerjee asked him to do so in writing, spoke to her on the phone today, shortly before she was to board the flight for New Delhi. He told her that he would like to remain in the party "as a loyal soldier".
Trivedi handed his resignation to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh soon after his conversation with Banerjee, ending the four-day long suspense over his fate.
"Dinesh Trivedi called me and said he would resign and abide by the decision of the party. He said he would also remain in the party," Banerjee told reporters at the Kolkata airport.
While Banerjee is set to chair an emergency meeting of the parliamentary party on Monday, her trip to Delhi was an apparent attempt to put pressure on the UPA leadership to act on her letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to replace Trivedi with Mukul Roy, who accompanied her to the Capital today.
"I must abide by the party's decision as a loyal soldier. I didn't resign all this while because (party MP) Sudip Bandyopadhyay had told the Lok Sabha that the party had not asked me to resign. I wanted to clear the confusion after speaking to Mamata Banerjee. When the party does not want me to remain in this post, I must step down because it was the party which was instrumental in making me a minister in the first place," Trivedi said after resigning today. "I did what I did to serve my country and for the best of the Indian Railways."
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