Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Is Mamata still controlling the Railways?


New Delhi: Dinesh Trivedi left for Kanpur immediately after being sworn in as the new Railway Minister to meet the victims of the Howrah-Kalka Mail tragedy which happened on Sunday.
He said that the Railways would provide employment to the next of kin of the victims of the rail accident.
"Will give jobs to next of kin of Malwan victims... Mamata Banerjee has said so," said Trivedi.
The first announcement of the new Railway Minister allegedly came under the direction of his political boss and predecessor at Rail Bhavan - Mamata Banerjee.
There's a fear that the Rail Ministry will still be run out of Kolkata and this could possibly be the reality. Much before the swearing in, Mamata had begun handing a to-do list to the new minister, the first one is reportedly to implement projects in Maoist hit Lalgarh.
Mamata Banerjee said, "Our man Dinesh Trivedi is now the Railway Minister...he will conduct survey of Lalgarh... First let's start with Lalgarh and then other places will follow."
Mamata did not let go of Railways even for a day, she kept her aide - Mukul Roy - in the Ministry, even as she took charge in Kolkata.
Since May 2009 Rail Bhawan has been running without a full time Railway Minister. Banerjee's rail budgets which were high on populism, focused on Bengal, the railways missed freight targets, its revenues shrunk and working expenses went up.
Mamata Banerjee may have left the Rail Bhawan but her clout in the Railways ministry hasn't. She managed to get Vinay Mittal, the general manager of south eastern railways, who is known to be another one of her aides, appointed as the Chairman of the Railway Board - this despite the fact Mittal was never in the race for the railways top job.

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