NEW DELHI, March 20 (IANS): Trinamool Congress MP Mukul Roy was Tuesday sworn in as a Cabinet minister and is expected to replace party MP Dinesh Trivedi, who had to quit as Railway Minister following the Rail Budget in which he proposed to hike passenger fares.
Roy, former minister of state for shipping, was sworn in by President Pratibha Patil at a brief function in Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee forced Trivedi's exit from the Cabinet following the rail budget last week. Banerjee had written to the Prime Minister that Trivedi should be replaced by Roy.
The swearing-in ceremony was attended by Vice-President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and several Union ministers.
Banerjee was conspicuous by her absence as was Trivedi, whose resignation was accepted Monday. Most Trinamool MPs were, however, present.
Roy told reporters that safety, security and punctuality would be his priority as Railway Minister but added that he would speak in detail only in Parliament.
Trinamool's Sudip Bandyopadhyay said the new Railway Minister had the prerogative to take a decision on hike in passenger fares.