KOLKATA/NEW DELHI, March 18 � Dinesh Trivedi tonight decided to resign as Railway Minister bringing the curtain down on the five-day drama after he incurred the wrath of Trinamool Congress for hiking passenger fares in the Railway Budget, reports PTI.
�He(Trivedi) called me and he told me that he will abide by the party decision and send his resignation,� Trinamool Congress supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee told PTI before she left for Delhi.
She also said that Trivedi told him that he will remain with the party. Trivedi�s decision came as an anti-climax as he put up a stiff defiance in the last five days refusing to quit unless asked for specifically in writing by Mamata. He said he had a constitutional duty to pilot the Budget he had presented in Parliament.
Angered by his Budget hiking passenger fares, Mamata wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday night and demanded his replacement with another party nominee and Minister of State for Shipping, Mukul Roy.
As she mounted pressure, the Prime Minister and Congress leadership assured her that Trivedi would be replaced in a couple of days after presentation of the General Budget on Friday last.
Sixty-one-year-old Trivedi, who represents Barrackpore in the Lok Sabha, had even gone to Rail Bhavan yesterday and presided over a meeting of Board members. When party�s chief whip in the Lok Sabha Kalyan Banerjee asked him over telephone to quit as minister, Trivedi told him that he will not do so unless the directive came in writing from Mamata.
Even as the stalemate continued, Mamata decided to fly to Delhi to attend the Trinamool Congress parliamentary party meeting and use the visit for a meeting with the Prime Minister to apparently urge him to take her party�s concerns on board on not going ahead with the NCTC. She wants a chief ministers� meeting to be called on the issue.