Former Power minister Piyush Goyal has been elevated to cabinet rank and given charge of as the new Railway Minister. He has replaced Suresh Prabhu who had offered to resign from the railway ministry after a series of train accidents in the country. Suresh Prabhu on Sunday took to Twitter to express gratitude to the railway fraternity for their support, love and goodwill. After attending the swearing-in ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, Prabhu said he will cherish the memories. He also congratulated Dharmendra Pradhan, Piyush Goyal, Nirmala Sitharaman and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on their elevation to the Union Cabinet.
On Sunday, nine new faces were inducted in the Cabinet as Ministers of State, including Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Virendra Kumar, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Anant Kumar Hegde, Satyapal Singh, Shiv Pratap Shukla, Alphons Kannanthanam, Raj Kumar Singh and Hardeep Singh Puri. Four junior ministers, Dharmendra Pradhan, Piyush Goyal, Nirmala Sitharaman and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, were promoted to the Union Cabinet. Meanwhile, Prabhu tweeted: “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 added: “Congrats to all members of #TeamModi for new responsibility. Making our country better is our common mission. #NewIndia #cabinetreshuffle.”
Meanwhile, Goyal, who was serving as the power minister is considered among the top performers in the Modi government. He was the Minister of State (MoS) with independent charge for Power, Coal, New and Renewable Energy. His work in improving power generation capacity of Coal India, especially in the renewable energy sector has been widely lauded. Under his charge, since 2014, the number of villages in the country that have still not electrified has reportedly come down from over 18,000 to 4,000. He also claimed to have added another 60 GW capacity in his tenure of two years as compared to the addition of 240 GW in last 65 years. In July 2016, during the second cabinet reshuffle of the Narendra Modi ministry, Piyush Goyal took over as the Minister of Mines (Minister of State with Independent charge) from Narendra Singh Tomar.
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Goyal is currently a Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha) and was earlier the National Treasurer of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). He is the son of Late Shri Ved Prakash Goyal who had served as a Union Minister for shipping in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee cabinet. Piyush Goyal was elected as the BJP candidate from Maharashtra for the Rajya Sabha in June 2016.
Goyal has had a strong academic record. A rank holder Chartered Accountant, he has also served on the Board of India’s largest commercial bank, State Bank of India and Bank of Baroda.