Mukul Roy takes charge as Railway minister

Trinamool Congress MP Mukul Roy took over as Railway minister on Tuesday after his predecessor Dinesh Trivedi made a dramatic exit on the heels of hiking rail fares, which angered his party chief Mamata Banerjee, who claimed his scalp.

Roy, earlier Minister of State for Shipping, took oath of office and secrecy at a ceremony held at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

The swearing in was attended by Vice President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and cabinet ministers, including those from TMC.
Safety a priority

After being allotted Railway portfolio, Roy said, “safety, security and punctuality” would be his priority.

He avoided questions on the roll back of passenger fare hike proposed by Trivedi in the Railway Budget saying, “Whatever I have to say I will say in Parliament as the Railway Budget is the property of Parliament. I will reply to the debate.”

Earlier on Monday, Banerjee had indicated that the hike in the lower class fares proposed by Trivedi may be rolled back.

After Trivedi’s resignation, Banerjee, an ally of the Congress in the UPA, had written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh naming Roy as the successor.

Roy held additional charge of Railway Ministry when Banerjee resigned as the Railway Minister after becoming Chief Minister of West Bengal.

Roy also has the dubious distinction of defying the Prime Minister in the past by not heeding his advice to visit the site of the Guwahati-Puri Express derailment on July 11, 2011.

He was relieved of the Railway portfolio in the cabinet reshuffle the same year..

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