New Delhi, March 16: The Congress core group met here Friday to discuss the party’s response to the demand of Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee for roll back of hike in passenger fares in the rail budget and removal of Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi.
Party sources said that a decision concerning Trivedi’s removal is unlikely to be taken before Monday.
The core committee meeting, which was attended by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi, also discussed the crisis faced by the party in Uttarakhand with some MLAs still not having taken oath in the assembly, apparently to convey their resentment over choice of Vijay Bahuguna as chief minister.
Congress sources said that the party was not in a hurry to ask Trivedi to quit and would ideally want Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee to reconsider her decision for his removal. She had written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh seeking Trivedi’s replacement with another party leader Mukul Roy.
Congress sources said party leaders had conveyed to Trinamool Congress that a decision over Trivedi’s removal should be taken after the parliament session goes into recess March 30 and rail and general budgets are passed.
The Congress is also firming up its response to the Trinamool Congress’s strong pitch for withdrawal of passenger fare hike.
The discussion on railway budget in Parliament is likely to be taken up next week.
Congress sources said the core committee also discussed the situation in Uttarakhand, where Bahuguna has to prove his majority later this month.
They said Bahuguna Friday came to Delhi and had a meeting with Gandhi.
His visit came a day after several Congress MLAs, mostly loyalists of union minister Harish Rawat, did not take oath.
Rawat, minister of state for agriculture and parliamentary affairs, has been unhappy after his claim to the chief minister’s post was rejected and Bahuguna was chosen as the chief minister.