While Dinesh Trivedi still remains railway minister, his tenure will probably not last beyond the end of today, as his party leader Mamata Banerjee of the Trinamool Congress wants his scalp for hiking passenger fares in his budget presented on Wednesday.
Mukherjee told the Lok Sabha today that the prime minister had received a communication from Banerjee which was still under consideration. However there is little doubt that Trivedi will make way for Banerjee's new nominee Mukul Roy, as the United Progressive Alliance needs the Trinamool's support to stay in power.
"He (Trivedi) will put in his papers any time after the presentation of the budget on Friday afternoon," The Economic Times quoted an anonymous government leader as saying.
Meanwhile it is reported that finance minister Pranab Mukherjee is likely reply to the debate on the railway budget in Parliament on Monday following Trivedi's exit. However, Trivedi attended the cabinet meeting on the Union Budget this morning.
According to CNN-IBN, Trivedi could stay in the cabinet till the end of the budget session of Parliament, with the Congress telling Banerjee that sacking a minister mid-session would not send out a good signal. But this seems unlikely, given Banerjee's adamant and vindictive nature.
Meanwhile, Banerjee is reported to be no longer seeking a full rollback of the fare hike, and would be satisfied with a rollback in lower class fares, with the hike in upper class fares staying.
Mukherjee spoke to Banerjee twice since Wednesday night, asking her to hold her horses for some time. But 'didi' is difficult to placate once her gander is up.