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Trivedi Says He Has Not Resigned Yet

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Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi, whose removal has been demanded by his party leader and TMC boss Mamata Banerjee, Thursday said he has not resigned as yet.

However, he made it clear that he would resign the moment the Prime Minister or Mamata Banerjee ask him to do.

Trivedi said he has to answer questions in Parliament Thursday and he would be doing that.

"I will not leave my duty," he told Bengali news channel Star Ananda when asked about media reports that he has already resigned.

Trivedi said either the Prime Minister or his party leader Mamata Banerjee has to tell him to resign. "It will not take him a minute to go," he said.

He again justified his budget yesterday in which he had proposed a hike in passenger fare which earned him the wrath of his party chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Banerjee.

He said what he had done was in the interest of the railways and the country.

He said as a disciplined soldier of the party "I will abide by whatever the leader says and the discipline of the party".

The Minister is being briefed by senior railway officials about the raiway question answers due in Lok Sabha Thursday.

Didi Wants A Replacement
Angered by Trivedi's proposal contained in the Railway Budget yesterday, Banerjee had written to the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh last night seeking his removal and replacement by Mukul Roy, currently Minister of State for Shipping who had earlier served in the Railway Ministry.

"Yes, I have written to the Prime Minister seeking his replacement with Mukul Roy, another union minister," Banerjee had said.

Banerjee also spoke to the Congress leadership in Delhi to press for removal of Trivedi and is said to have been assured that it will be done.

She is said to have been assured that Trivedi will be replaced by Roy after the presentation of the General Budget by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Friday.

In fact, Mukul Roy would be replying to the Railway Budgetary Demands for Grants before this month-end, highly placed TMC sources had said.