Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Trivedi defends his Budget; rues lack of democracy in parties
PTI | 11:04 PM,Apr 16,2012
Mumbai, Apr 16 (PTI) Former Railway Minister and Trinamool Congress MP Dinesh Trivedi today strongly defended the rail budget he had presented last month and over which he had to resign later and said given a chance, he will present the same budget again. "I was absolutely delighted by the budget which I presented. If given a chance, I will present exactly the same budget again. Because I did it with conviction," he said. The budget, which among other things, proposed a hike in rail fares (partially rolled back later) after nine years, was in the interest of the country. Each and every MP got something or the other from the budget, he said. Trivedi was speaking at a function organised by a personal finance magazine here this evening. Unfazed over the wrath he drew from Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee and others in his party over his budget proposals, which eventually led to his ouster from Union Cabinet, he said "we take oath of discharging duty without fear or favour." "It took the Supreme Court's order to sack A Raja (former Telecom Minister) while it took five seconds for them to sack me," he said. Trivedi expressed disappointment that the debate in Parliament over his budget proposals was on political lines, ignoring the public interest angle. Democracy is not practised in right spirit by political parties as the party whip or high command takes all the crucial decisions, he said. "Politicians have become feudal in their thinking...there are good people in Parliament but they are scared to go against the party whip." "The citizens should demand an explanation why this budget was not good for Railways and why it was rejected. People should prove that India is a democracy and not a banana republic. Their opinion must count," Trivedi added. Asked about the row over cartoon of Banerjee, Trivedi said nobody can live without humour.


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