Suresh Prabhu stepped down as the Railways Minister today. He had offered to give up the post last month in light of two major train accidents within days. Piyush Goyal, Minister of State for power, coal, renewable energy and mines was sworn in as the new Railways Minister today in the latest reshuffle of Modi Cabinet.
In a tweet earlier today, the outgoing Railways Minister thanked the Railways family for their support. "Thanks to all 13 Lacs+ rail family for their support, love, goodwill. I will always cherish these memories with me. Wishing u all a great life," he said.
He also congratulated Goyal and other Union ministers who were promoted to the Cabinet members today.
In the last week of August, Prabhu offered to furnish his resignation taking "full moral responsibility" of the mishaps. He was asked to wait by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Thanks to all 13 Lacs+ rail family for their support,love,goodwill.I will always cherish these memories with me.Wishing u all a great life- Suresh Prabhu (@sureshpprabhu) September 3, 2017
Prabhu stepping down is likely to hamper the reforms he initiated in Railways - restructuring the Railway Board primary among them - if not stop them in their tracks. There also are plans to hire two lakh additional workers to ensure safety on train tracks.
Giving Railways to Goyal was the best that could be done as many experts believe that he has handled the power and coal portfolio competently, reports said.
Meanwhile, five other ministers had quit before the biggest Cabinet rejig ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Skill Development Minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy, as well as Minister of State for Health Faggan Singh Kulaste and Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Processing Sanjiv Balyan had been reportedly asked to step down from their respective posts.
Mahendra Nath Pandey, minister of state in the human resource development ministry, left the Council of Ministers in line with the one-man-one-post principle after being named as the chief of BJP's Uttar Pradesh unit recently. On the other hand, Water Resources Minister Uma Bharati resigned citing health problems.