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At last, a full-fledged Minister for Railways

The Railway Ministry finally has got a full-fledged Minister in Dinesh Trivedi after almost a gap of 52 days with the post having been kept vacant for the Trinamool Congress in the wake of Mamata Banerjee demitting office and taking over as Chief Minister of West Bengal.

Promises job for kin of train accident victims

Immediately after being sworn in on Tuesday, Mr. Trivedi left for Fatehpur, the site of derailment of the Kalka Mail on Sunday that left 68 people dead and over 250 others injured, and promised to give a job to each of the bereaved families.
The Prime Minister held the portfolio apparently for safe keeping for the TMC all these days. The Prime Minister held the portfolio as the TMC had no Cabinet-rank Minister after Ms. Banerjee quit, but as a reassuring measure Union Minister of State for Shipping Mukul Roy was additionally made MoS in the Railway Ministry.
The hiatus has been quite tumultuous in that this consumer-related Ministry had been without a proper leader for the first time for such a long span of time underscoring the pulls and pressures within the UPA coalition. This period also witnessed three major accidents that left over 100 people dead and more than 350 others injured.
Though it was initially given to understand that Mr. Roy would be elevated to the Cabinet rank, an impression was spread that a more charismatic face was needed to head this high-profile Ministry, which is among the few Union government departments that has direct connection with the masses. Almost two crore people travel by train each day.
It was against this backdrop that Mr. Roy was elbowed out of the race for the Cabinet rank, but it is not clear at which level this was decided as Mr. Roy happens to be very close to Ms. Banerjee and that was visible even on Monday.

Mr. Roy preferred to accompany Ms. Banerjee on her trip to Jangalmahal to abiding by the directive of the Prime Minister to visit the accident site in Assam. He also said that he was not required to visit the site as he was not the Cabinet Minister and that the portfolio was with the Prime Minister.

Ms. Banerjee apparently did not take offence at the way Mr. Roy acted and spoke against the Prime Minister. Moreover, Mr. Roy was retained as Minister of State for Shipping, while fellow TMC leader Dinesh Trivedi, who was Minister of State in the Health Ministry, has been elevated.
That Ms. Banerjee still called the shots was clear from the fact that one of those close to her was appointed as Chairman Railway Board superseding as many as 15 officers, including those already members of the Board.
Keywords: Kalka Mail accident, train derailment, Union Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi, Mamata Banerjee
Source - the hindu

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