New Delhi/Kolkata, Mar 15: Dinesh Trivedi continued to be Railway Minister today but only just with the UPA leadership appearing to have buckled under TMC demand to sack him, an action that has been temporarily delayed by the Union Budget to be presented tomorrow.
Trivedi's furious boss, the TMC and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee spoke to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during the day and is believed to have been assured that her demand for getting rid of him and replacing him with Mukul Roy would be considered, only after the Union Budget is presented in Parliament tomorrow.
Highly-placed TMC sources said that Singh had assured Mamata that action against Trivedi, who earned the wrath of the party for proposing a hike in passenger fares in the Rail Budget, would await the Budget presentation, thereby indicating that he can lose the job over the weekend.
On his part, Trivedi continued to stand by his budget, maintaining that he would present the same budget if he had an opportunity to do it again.
Trivedi, who was present on the treasury benches in Lok Sabha, took an indirect dig at Mamata invoking Rabindranath Tagore's famous poem “where the mind is without fear and head is held high...”.
“What is the point in having Tagore's music at traffic intersections and not following him,” he asked in an obvious reference to playing of Tagore's songs at important traffic intersections in Kolkata at the orders of the Chief Minister.
“My mind is without fear and the head is held high,” Drivedi said.