New Delhi: Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi, whose party has demanded his removal, on Wednesday attended the Parliament, saying it is his "duty" as a Minister but parried questions on his resignation.
     
A day after Trinamool supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee demanded that he be removed, Trivedi said he will be in Lok Sabha during the Question Hour as scheduled to reply to queries raised by members.
     
"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 the Parliament House before entering Lok Sabha shortly before the commencement of Question Hour in the House. Trivedi was seated in the front row in the Treasury Benches.
     
The Trinamool leader declined to anwser when asked whether he has resigned.
     
"Let's see what happens. I have to go...," he added.

Trivedi said either the Prime Minister or his party leader Mamata Banerjee has to tell him to resign. "It will not take him a minute to go," he said.
   
He again justified his budget on Wednesday in which he had proposed a hike in passenger fare which earned him the wrath of his party chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Banerjee.
   
He said what he had done was in the interest of the railways and the country.
   
He said as a disciplined soldier of the party "I will abide by whatever the leader says and the discipline of the party".
   
The Minister is being briefed by senior railway officials about the railway question answers due in Lok Sabha on Thursday.     

Angered by Trivedi's proposal contained in the Railway Budget on Wednesday, Banerjee had written to the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh last night seeking his removal and replacement by Mukul Roy, currently Minister of State for Shipping who had earlier served in the Railway Ministry.     

"Yes, I have written to the Prime Minister seeking his replacement with Mukul Roy, another union minister," Banerjee had said.
   
Banerjee also spoke to the Congress leadership in Delhi to press for removal of Trivedi and is said to have been assured that it will be done.
     
She is said to have been assured that Trivedi will be replaced by Roy after the presentation of the General Budget by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Friday.
   
In fact, Mukul Roy would be replying to the Railway Budgetary Demands for Grants before this month-end, highly placed TMC sources had said.

(Agencies)