Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday accepted Trinamool Congress nominee Mukul Roy as the next railways minister. In July last year, Singh had reportedly rejected Roy for the same post.
Roy is set to be sworn-in as the minister on Tuesday.
The Trinamool leader was party chief Mamata Banerjee’s first choice as the railways minister after she became the chief minister of West Bengal last year.
Roy, 61, will be sworn in on Tuesday and reply to the rail budget debate in Parliament later this week.
The PM’s approval of Roy-after a 20-minute meeting with Banerjee — also came with some strong message for the key Congress ally. While replying to the debate on the motion of thanks on the President’s speech in Lok Sabha, PM said Trivedi “presented a rail budget that had promised to carry out the Vision 2020 outlined by his predecessor (Banerjee).”
Singh “regretted” Trivedi’s departure from the cabinet and added, “The difficult decisions that we have to take are made more difficult by the fact that we are a coalition government and we have to evolve policy keeping in mind the need to maintain a consensus. The challenges that this poses have been sharply brought out in the developments following the presentation of the rail budget.”
“(The) new railways minister…will have the onerous duty of carrying forward the challenging task of modernising our rail system,” PM said signaling what he expects from Roy.
Meanwhile, in a bid to bury the differences within the party Banerjee invited Trivedi for the Trinamool’s parliamentary party meeting in the evening. Trivedi also told HT, “I am an obedient soldier of the party.”
“If Sonia Gandhi can decide who will be the Prime Minister from her party, why can’t I decide who will be the railways minister from my party?” Banerjee said, defending her action against Trivedi.
Last year, when Singh put his foot down on Banerjee’s choice of Roy as the railways minister, Trinamool had to nominate Dinesh Trivedi for the post.