A beleaguered Suresh Prabhu, who had taken the "moral responsibility" for a recent spate of train accidents, came in for high praise from his successor Piyush Goyal, who took charge as the new Railway minister today.
A beleaguered Suresh Prabhu, who had taken the “moral responsibility” for a recent spate of train accidents, came in for high praise from his successor Piyush Goyal, who took charge as the new Railway minister today. The new minister said his predecessor was his mentor with whom he had worked on earlier occasions. “It is a very emotional day for me. Suresh Prabhu has been mentoring me, directing me and taking care of me for the past 20 years. From time to time we have had the chance to work together,” said Goyal, whose formal taking over was attended by Prabhu at Rail Bhavan.
Prabhu had not attended office after August 23, when he met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and offered to resign after the accidents last month. “In the government of Atal Behari Vajpayee, he (Prabhu) worked with my father and at that time he was in charge of the power ministry and the leadership that he had shown then is the reason why our country has such a capable power sector,” Goyal said. He pointed out that Prabhu then headed a task force for interlinking rivers of which Goyal was a member.
“I was introduced to his style of work when I worked with him for two years in the task force, and it was a fantastic experience,” said the new Rail minister. Goyal said the “culture of non-stop work” in the government was practised by Prabhu when he headed the force. Recalling his first days as the Power minister, Goyal said initially he had little knowledge of the sector and didn’t know the “P of Power”. “I had just come from Mumbai and I didn’t know the P of Power. Then P for Prabhu, my elder brother, taught me how to combine the three sectors – power, renewable energy and coal and move towards development at a fast pace,” he said.
Prabhu’s roadmap, Goyal said, focused on investment, security and consumer utilities. All this, he said, had turned the Railways into a vibrant organisation. “For this, the country will be indebted to him, the ministry is indebted to him. We all have to just follow his track,” said Goyal. Prabhu, while speaking to the media today, said he believed Goyal would do a better job than him in the ministry.
“He (Goyal) will play a big role in the progress of the country. I wish him all the best and all the success. I am here to help him in whatever he needs, and I believe that everyone will support him as they did me,” Prabhu said. Prabhu, now in charge of Commerce, however, refused to speak about his tenure as the Rail minister. He had offered to step down after two train accidents in Uttar Pradesh last month, which were followed by two other derailments.