Dinesh Trivedi, one of the founders of the Trinamool Congress, found himself out in the cold but observers say it may have been coming as he lost his status as a link for the party with industrial houses and the final blow was putting party leader Mamata Banerjee in his shadow by defying her ditakat on the railway passenger fares.
Trivedi wasn’t Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee‘s first choice for the Railway Minister but once Mukul Roy was rejected and she had to take over as Chief Minister of West Bengal, the former minister of state for health stepped up.
The US-educated minister, who is an avid golfer has been the party’s point man in the power corridors of Delhi stepping up when the party allied with the BJP and then defended the party’s decision to tie up with the Congress in the UPA alliance.
An Economic Times report today talks of how Trivedi, a pilot and a self proclaimed philosopher, jumped into politics after meeting with Rajiv Gandhi in the 1980s and was impressed with his views on creating a new India. After supporting the Congress, he jumped to the Janata Dal and later in 1998 helped found the Trinamool Congress of which he was the first general secretary.
Trivedi was originally known as the party’s ‘master fixer’ and it didn’t hurt that he was the party’s liason with industrial houses. However, the emergence of KD Singh, chairman of the Alchemist group, as the party’s face to deal with industries meant that Trivedi’s popularity in the party has on the wane.
Quoting party sources, the report says that Banerjee had been wary of Trivedi for his non-compliance in consulting her over every decision and had suspected he could over-shadow her.
And with the railway budget Trivedi did just that by hiking railway fares across all passenger classes, something Banerjee was strongly opposed to. Furthermore his comments about bringing the railways out of the ICU might not have been taken to well either, given Banerjee was the previous Railway Minister.