Rail Budget 2013: Is the Railways Ministry jinxed?

A quick look at the fortunes of the Railway Ministers for the past 25 years show that barring Mamata Banerjee and Nitish Kumar, the political career of the others has not been all that rosy after their stint was over.

hidden December 20, 2014 17:13:45 IST
Rail Budget 2013: Is the Railways Ministry jinxed?

As yet another Rail budget is set to be unveiled, Railways has seen several former Ministers like Suresh Kalmadi and Dinesh Trivedi getting derailed after remaining at the helm.

A quick look at the fortunes of the Railway Ministers for the past 25 years show that barring Mamata Banerjee and Nitish Kumar, the political career of the others has not been all that rosy after their stint was over.

The Rail budget is due to be presented by PK Bansal in a few hours.

Kalmadi, who was the last Congress Railway Minister 16 years ago, is facing the heat in the wake of the Commonwealth scam and has been lodged in Tihar jail for a while now.

Rail Budget 2013 Is the Railways Ministry jinxed

PTI

Then there was the saga of Dinesh Trivedi last year.

Trivedi, who presented the last Railway Budget, lost his job in a matter of days despite his exercise coming in for a rave reviews - from everyone apart from whom it mattered the most that is. The fare hike effected by him earned the wrath of hisparty chief Trinamool Congress chief and West Bengal ChiefMinister Mamata Banerjee who soon airdashed to Delhi to ensurehis immediate exit.

Mukul Roy, a trusted lieutenant of Banerjee, who wasbrought in place of Trivedi, could last just a few months, asthe TMC parted ways with the UPA and saw all its Ministers tendering their resignations.

Lalu Prasad, who was the Railway Minister in the UPA-I, saw his political career derail after he made the bad political choice of dumping the Congress in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls along with Lok Janshakti leader Ram Vilas Paswan, also a former Railway Minister, and contested seperately.

From the second largest constituent in UPA-I, Lalu's RJDwas reduced to just four members in the new House as against25-odd MPs in the previous Lok Sabha.

Paswan also had the shock of his life as he suffered ahumiliating defeat from his constituency of Hajipur in Bihar,with veteran Ram Sunder Das of the Nitish Kumar-led JD-Utrouncing him.92-year old Das is the oldest member of the current LokSabha.

After being out of Parliament for a few years, Paswan hasnow become a member of the Rajya Sabha, thanks to supportextended by Lalu Prasad. Paswan was Railway Minister in theUnited Front government from 1996-98.

Congress veteran C K Jaffer Sharief, who was the CabinetMinister for most part of the PV Narasimha Rao tenure from1991-96, is credited with ushering in the unigauge systemin the Railways, has seen marginalised in the party for the

past decade.

Sharief was only recently acquitted by the Supreme Courtin a CBI case launched against him.

George Fernandes, who was at the helm of Railways duringthe V P Singh Government in 1989-90, is unwell. A JD-U member of the Rajya Sabha, Fernandes has beenaway from Parliament for quite sometime.

Congress leader and Union Minister C P Joshi's joy lastyear after getting the additional charge of Railways, wasshortlived.

In the last Cabinet reshuffle, Bansal was brought in asfull-fledged Railway Minister with Prime Minister ManmohanSingh determined to bring the long delayed reforms in theRailways to bring it on track at a time when the buzz word is

infrastructure development for faster growth.

PTI

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