NEW DELHI, March 15 � The fate of Dinesh Trivedi as Railway Minister appears to have been sealed with the Congress leadership and TMC boss Mamata Banerjee reportedly reaching an agreement on her demand that he be replaced over the issue of passenger fee hike in the Railway Budget.
Congress troubleshooter Pranab Mukherjee spoke to Mamata today following up on the discussions they had over telephone twice last night. TMC Parliamentary Party leader Sudip Bandopadhyay also met Mukherjee in Parliament today.
There was no official word from the government or Congress about what they propose to do on the unprecedented demand for the removal of a minister on the day he presented a Budget but sources in both the Congress and TMC said that it was not a question of whether he would go but it was when.
TMC, which has put the UPA coalition in difficult positions on a number of issues including the FDI in retail and oil price hike, however, made it clear that there would be no threat to the government from it.
Congress also gave no signs of taking on Trinamool Congress, the second largest constituent of the UPA, having 19 MPs.
Smarting under the huge embarrassment caused by the second biggest constituent of the UPA, Congress also sent mixed signals by sending its two senior representatives to the swearing-in ceremony of Akhilesh Yadav as UP Chief Minister. � PTI