New Delhi, Mar 15 (ANI): With the Trinamool Congress (TMC) mounting pressure on the UPA-II Government to remove Dinesh Trivedi as Railway Minister, senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Rajnath Singh on Thursday asked Prime Minister Dr. Manohan Singh to come forward and give an explanation over the ongoing crisis.
"The government has been continuously facing trouble, but the issue was raised by our Leader of Opposition, Sushma Swaraj, because a constitutional crisis has developed and the Prime Minister should come forward and give an explanation on whether he has received a letter from the chief of TMC or not," said Singh.
"And if yes, then what has been done and what decision has been taken by the Prime Minister in regard to Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi," he added.
Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad Yadav asked the government to resolve the issue soon.
"An unprecedented situation has been created in Indian politics. The budget is of the government; the rise and decrease of fares is a separate issue, which we have criticized. This is a shocking situation," said Yadav.
"If a person gives a letter, that means he has resigned, this is a first of its kind incident in Indian history. The government will have to settle the matter fast," he added.
Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi, however, cleared the government stand, and said the rail budget has been moved in Parliament and the House will decide upon it.
"This is the government's budget and has been presented in the Parliament, and now, Parliament will decide whether the budget is approved or disapproved or amendments are moved in," said Alvi.
"This is a baseless question. Trivediji is presently the railway minister and raising any kind of speculations at this time is wrong," he added, when asked whether Trivedi will retain his position.
When asked to comment on West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief Mamata Banerjee's letter to the Prime Minister, Alvi said this is an internal matter of the government, which should not be discussed outside.
"This is a coalition government and the Trinamool Congress is our partner in the government and this is an internal matter of the UPA. So, it cannot be discussed outside," he said.
The demand for the sacking of Dinesh Trivedi was in response to his decision to hike passenger fares without consulting Mamata Banerjee or the TMC leadership. The latter felt that the measure was an anti-poor step.
Trivedi has, however, said that no one had asked him to resign.
Trivedi had in his maiden Railway Budget proposed a hike of one paise per km for suburban and ordinary second-class travel.
He also called for a fare increase for mail express and second class trains at three paisa per km; for sleeper class five paisa per km; for AC chair car, AC 3 tier and First Class by 10 paise per km; AC 2 Tier 15 paise per km; and AC I 30 paise per km.
He said the corresponding rationalization in minimum distance and fare chargeable in various classes has also been proposed.
The proposed revisions will have marginal impact on the fares. The increase in fares for suburban second-class passengers traveling 35 km will be Rs.2. For non-suburban second-class ordinary passenger traveling a distance of 135 km, increase will be Rs.4 only.
For second-class mail or express passenger traveling a distance of 375 km, the addition to the fare will be Rs.12 and that for a 750 km journey by sleeper class on mail/express train will be Rs.40. An AC 3 tier passenger traveling a distance of 530 km will be required to pay an additional Rs.57.
The increase for AC 2 tier and AC I passenger traveling over same distance will be Rs.84 and Rs.163 respectively. (ANI)
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