Railway minister Dinesh Trivedi, may be down after the hike in fares in yesterday's rail budget brought a strong backlash from his own Trinamool Congress party; but he says he is not yet out.
Trivedi attended the Lok Sabha as usual today, saying it was his ''duty'' as a minister, and he would remain the rail minister unless he was asked to go by the prime minister or his party leader, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee; adding they had not yet done so.
''I am going to Parliament as a minister. I have come for Question Hour. I have to answer my questions. I am doing my duty, let me do that please,'' he told reporters at his residence and outside Parliament House before entering Lok Sabha.. Trivedi was seated in the front row of the treasury benches.
Claiming to be a ''loyal soldier'' of the party Trivedi said if either the prime minister or his party leader asked to resign, "I will not take a minute to go."
The minister was briefed by senior railway officials about the question and answer session in the Lok Sabha today on his budget.
Despite his bravado, it is apparent that Trivedi's days as minister are numbered, as he faced the wrath of Banerjee and her cohorts almost immediately after presenting the budget – which he reiterated today that he had done in the interest of the railways and the country.