Trivedi may go after Budget

With Trinamul Congress chief Mamata Banerjee turning on the heat, the government is considering replacing railway minister Dinesh Trivedi well before the first half of the Budget Session ends on March 30. Mr Trivedi is expected to send his resignation to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh soon. Ms Banerjee has indicated she expects the government to replace him shortly after finance minister Pranab Mukherjee presents the Union Budget on Friday.
A partial rollback of Mr Railway Budget proposals could also be on the cards following Mr Trivedi’s replacement by Mr Mukul Roy.

Mr Mukherjee has been discussing the issue with Ms Banerjee for the past 24 hours, and minister of state for parliamentary affairs Rajiv Shukla said a “decision on the railway minister will be taken soon”.
The Railway Budget was earlier due to be discussed in the Lok Sabha on Thursday; now it will be taken up only next week.
The government is confident of smooth passage of the motion of thanks on the President’s address, as well as of both the General Budget and Railway Budget. It seems sure it will get Trinamul support on the floor. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will reply to the debate on the motion of thanks on Monday, in which he might address Trinamul concerns on the NCTC issue. While Ms Banerjee in West Bengal accused Mr Trivedi of playing the “Congress game”, sources said the minister, who might lose his job, “might be rehabilitated in some other form by the Congress” later.
The Samajwadi Party, it is learnt, will continue to support the government from outside.
There have been no talks so far of the party either joining the UPA or entering the Cabinet at this stage.

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