'Trivedi's resignation under active consideration'
Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi has not resigned, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee told the Lok Sabha on Thursday.
He, however, said that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has received a communication from Trinamool Congress chairperson Mamata Banerjee which was under "active consideration".
"As and when a decision will be taken, the House will be informed," he said without divulging details of the communication which, he said, was received late Wednesday night.
Trivedi occupied the front row in the Lok Sabha which is usually occupied by senior ministers.
Mukherjee's statement came after an impromptu debate in the House with opposition members seeking suspension of Question Hour on the plea that an "unprecedented and unusual" situation had arisen following the reported resignation of Trivedi.
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'UPA government has mismanaged this whole affair'
Opposition parties asked the UPA government to clarify if Dinesh Trivedi continues to be the country's Railway Minister.
"Tell us if Trivedi is still Railways minister. Is the railway budget presented yesterday still valid" asked BJP leader Sushma Swaraj.
Janata Dal-United (JD-U) chief Sharad Yadav asked the government to make a statement in the House on the issue.
"They (UPA government) have mismanaged this whole affair. We need transparency on what happened," he said.
The Communist Party of India (CPI) gave a notice for adjournment and demanded a statement from the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the issue.
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Don't behave like petulant children, Pranab tells Oppn
"The government is weak. This is an unusual, unprecedented and a shameful development. A weak government cannot address any challenge India is facing," said CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta.
Speaker Meira Kumar disallowed the notices of suspension of Question Hour but allowed Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj and others to speak on the issue.
In response to the Opposition charge, Pranab said that the Railway Budget for 2012-13 was now the property of the House, and vociferously told the opposition not to behave like 'petulant children' in the matter concerning the reported resignation of Trivedi.
Mukherjee also assured the Lok Sabha that the Railway Budget proposals presented by Trivedi had not been junked.
"The Railway Budget is definitely owned by the government and approved by the Finance Ministry. Railway Budget is the property of the House. All members have the right to decide and what would be the shape of the Railway Budget. Don't behave like petulant children, behave like political leaders," Mukherjee said.
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'TMC has not asked the Railway minister to tender his resignation'
The demand for the sacking of Trivedi was in response to his decision to hike passenger fares without consulting Banerjee or the TMC leadership. The latter felt that the measure was an anti-poor step.
Leader of Trinamool Congress in the House Sudip Bandopadhyay said his party members have not asked the Railway Minister to tender his resignation.
"The matter has to be settled between my leader and the prime minister," Bandopadhyay said.
He went ahead and said that the government "is totally settled and would complete its term".
Trivedi's proposal to hike fares in the Railway Budget earned him the ire of the Trinamool chief who sent a late night communication to the prime minister suggesting him to replace Trivedi with Mukul Roy.