A BJP Rajya Sabha MP from the state of Odisha, Vaishnaw is the new Railway Minister.
Recently, the Modi Cabinet 2.0 appointed the former IAS Officer, Ashwini Vaishnaw as the new Railway Minister. Under his leadership, the Ministry of Railways has directed that all the offices and staff of the Railway Minister’s office will work in two shifts i.e. from 7:00 AM to 4:00 PM and 3:00 PM to 12:00 AM/midnight with immediate effect. The announcement was made by DJ Narain, ADG PR, Ministry of Railways, according to ANI. A BJP Rajya Sabha MP from the state of Odisha, Vaishnaw is the new Railway Minister. Besides, he is also heading the Ministries of Communications, and Electronics and Information Technology (IT). He is a former IAS officer of the batch- 1994 and has handled key responsibilities over 15 years period.
Despite being in the rival camp, Vaishnaw had previously managed to wrangle support from the ruling president of BJD and Chief Minister of Odisha Naveen Patnaik. This happened in spite of objections and criticism by many people within the ruling BJD. Also, there were allegations that the BJD supremo succumbed to PM Narendra Modi and Amit Shah’s pressure in supporting the former IAS. On 28 June 2019, barely six days ahead of the Rajya Sabha elections, Vaishnaw was inducted into the saffron party. He landed himself a job nearly two years later in India’s cabinet ahead of veteran saffron leaders from Odisha.
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During his stint as an IAS officer, Vaishnaw had worked as the District Magistrate-cum-Collector of Odisha’s districts of Cuttack and Balasore. Till 2003, he worked in the state of Odisha before being appointed as deputy secretary in former Prime Miniter Vajpayee’s office. After the NDA lost the election in the year 2004, he was appointed as private secretary of Vajpayee. He quit government service in 2008 and went to pursue an MBA at Wharton University. On his return, he set up his own automotive components manufacturing units in Gujarat. In the month of April, he was nominated as a Press Council of India member, for three years.