Amidst speculations that he might be forced to step down following hike in passenger fare, Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi said he doesn't mind losing his job as he has done his duty for the betterment of the railways.
Dinesh Trivedi's maiden Railway Budget presented on Wednesday came under fire from his own party members after the passenger fare was marginally hiked.
Trivedi said in an exclusive interview to CNN IBN that he doesn't want Indian Railways to go Air India way. He added that time will soon come when the railways won't have money to pay the salaries of the employers if action is not taken now.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh also thinks that Trivedi has presented a realistic budget.
"The Railway Minister has presented a forward looking Budget with emphasis on safety and modernisation of the Indian Railways. The Budget for 2012-13 has been formulated against the background of Railways' responsibilities in meeting the demands of the 12th Five Year Plan," IBNS quoted the PM as saying.
"I have done that was required to do for the betterment of the railways," he told CNN IBN, adding, "I have taken a conscious decision, I'm in politics for the people."
The Railway Minister said that he is not worried of the consequences. "Bhagat Singh lost his life (for the country), losing a chair is no big deal," he said.
He said that people can afford the hike, as it is in terms of paisa and for their own safety.
"The hike is in paisa, people can afford this hike," he said, adding, "I can't guarantee safety if I don't have money. If you rollback the hike then I have to roll back safety concerns."
Dinesh Trivedi has received flats from his own colleagues from Trinamool Congress for hiking passenger fare ranging from two paise to 30 paise per km. Party members like Sudip Bandopadhyay and Derek O'Brien have spoken openly against the hike and demanded a rollback.