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Dinesh Trivedi's shadow looms over Rail Budget 2012-13 debate in LS
March, 20th 2012

The shadow of Dinesh Trivedi loomed large in the Lok Sabha during discussion on the Railway Budget 2012-13 with the opposition taking barbs at the Congress-led coalition in the wake of pressure by its allies.

"Since the time the UPA government has been formed, the coalition train in which the Prime Minister is in the engine is being stopped by one and all by frequent pulling of chain and threats of decoupling the compartment," Sumitra Mahajan (BJP) said.

Initiating the combined discussion on the Railway Budget along with the Demands for Grants (Railways), she said what was witnessed in the last few days was just unprecedented.

"We are reminded of the song 'Maar diya jaaye, ya chhod diya jaaye" in a Hindi movie during a sequence where the hero was tied," she said, adding the Railway Minister who spoke of the need to "bite the bullet" has himself been "hit by the bullet".

Obviously referring to the induction of Mukul Roy as Railway Minister earlier in the day in place of Trivedi, Mahajan said that she was at a loss to understand as to whom she should address as the Minister.

"I am unable to fathom that the Minister who had declared from the rooftops that safety was his top most concern and deaths would not be tolerated on the railways has himself become a victim," she said noting that the Trinamool Congress chief was "unhappy" with Trivedi.

Hailing some initiatives taken by Trivedi as the Railway Minister, she, however, alleged that he had played a fraud on the nation by raising freight rates substantially through a notification on March 6, just days before the presentation of the Railway Budget.

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