He was neither funny like Lalu Prasad Yadav nor fiery like Mamata Banerjee. But former Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi will be remembered for the central role he played in the farcical drama of this year’s Rail Budget.
Trivedi stepped down as the railway minister on 18 March, 2012, a couple of days after presenting his first ever Railway Budget in which he increased passenger fare. This, absurdly, did not go down well with his own political party, Trinamool Congress (TMC) and in particular its head West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
The defiant Trivedi was replaced by TMC’s Mukul Roy, who promptly rolled back the rail fare hike, expressing concern for India’s "aam aadmi".
Ironically, Trivedi’s budget had received support from industry groups, all five Rail Unions and even the general public, who believed his argument that the increase in fares was necessary for improving passengers' safety.
While popular politics won, the Barrackpore MP can take consolation from the fact that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh praised Trivedi’s rail budget and expressed "regret" on his "departure".