PM regrets Trivedi’s departure as railway minister

New Delhi : Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Monday said he regretted the departure of Dinesh Trivedi as railway minister and signalled that the new incumbent will have the duty of carrying forward the task of modernising the railways.

He said he had received Trivedi’s resignation and proposed to send it to President Pratibha Patil with the recommendation that it be accepted.

Replying to the debate on motion of thanks to the president’s address in the Lok Sabha, the prime minister said Trivedi had presented a budget that had “promised to carry out the Vision 2020 outlined by his predecessor (Mamata Banerjee).”

Banerjee, who is now West Bengal chief minister and heads Trinamool Congress, had outlined the Vision 2020 for railways as a union minister.

The prime minister’s defence of Trivedi’s rail budget came in the backdrop of Banerjee’s firm opposition to hike in passenger fares and her demand that the minister be removed for going against her party’s line.

“I received late last night an email message followed by a formal letter from Dinesh Trivedi tendering his resignation as railway minister,” the prime minister said and added that he would forward the letter to the president.

“I regret the departure of Shri Trivedi,” he said.

“A new railway minister will be sworn in shortly. He will have the onerous duty of carrying forward the challenging task of modernising our railway system,” Manmohan Singh said.

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