Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday said that the Railway Budget for 2012-13 was now the property of the House, and vociferously told the opposition not to behave like "petulant children" in the matter concerning the reported resignation of Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi.
Mukherjee also assured the Lok Sabha that the Railway Budget proposals presented by Trivedi has not been junked.
"The Railway Budget is definitely owned by the government and approved by the Finance Ministry. Railway Budget is the property of the House. All members have the right to decide and what would be the shape of the Railway Budget. Don't behave like petulant children, behave like political leaders," Mukherjee said.
On Trivedi's reported resignation, Mukherjee said: "As for the resignation of the Railways Minister, the Prime Minister has not received any resignation letter from the minister. The Railway Minister has not resigned. We have received a communication from the leader of the Trinamool Congress. It's not unusual that we receive communication from alliance partners," Mukherjee said.
"The Prime Minister has received a communication from the Trinamool Congress chairperson and it is under active consideration of the Prime Minister. When a decision is taken, the House will be communicated," he added.
Earlier, opposition parties asked the UPA-II Government to clarify if Dinesh Trivedi continues to be the country's Railway Minister.
"Tell us if Trivedi is still Railways Minister. Is the railway budget presented yesterday still valid?," asked BJP leader Sushma Swaraj.
Janata Dal-United (JD-U) chief Sharad Yadav asked the government to make a statement in the House on the issue.
"They (UPA Government) have mismanaged this whole affair. We need transparency on what happened," he said.
The Communist Party of India (CPI) gave a notice for adjournment and demanded a statement from the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, on the issue.
"The government is weak. This is an unusual, unprecedented and a shameful development. A weak government cannot address any challenge India is facing," said CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta.
The demand for the sacking of Trivedi was in response to his decision to hike passenger fares without consulting Banerjee or the TMC leadership. The latter felt that the measure was an anti-poor step. (ANI)