Prabhu a mentor, Goyal says at Rail Bhavan
After grappling with issues of coal shortage and power deficit in his three-year stint as Union power minister, Piyush Goyal assumed charge of the Ministry of Railways, under a scanner after a number of derailments last month.
Suresh Prabhu, his predecessor at the latter, who has moved to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, was present as Goyal took charge at the second-floor office at Rail Bhavan.
“Piyush Goyalji is like my younger brother and now he will take over the reins. I am confident that he would contribute to the development of the nation,” Prabhu said.
Goyal has been consistently rewarded through elevations in the Union council of ministers. In the July 2016 reshuffle, he got independent charge as Minister of State with the ministry of mines in addition to his earlier portfolios of power, coal and renewable energy.
The 53-year- old Rajya Sabha member from Maharashtra, promoted to Cabinet rank after being a minister of state with independent charge of power, coal and mines, said: “It an emotional day for me. Prabhuji has been mentoring me for two decades and we have got the opportunity to work with each other from time to time.”
Goyal said Prabhu had also worked with his father during the Atal Bihari Vajpayee regime (when the latter was power minister).
The Railways recently came under scanner in the wake of several back-to-back derailments, Prabhu had even offered his resignation taking “moral” responsibility of the accidents but was asked to wait by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Goyal took charge at 5.30 pm, almost closing time at government offices. After taking charge, he met Railway Board members.
The Board itself has undergone a change after last month’s derailment in Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar. While one member was suspended, Ashwani Lohani was brought in as its new chairman, replacing A K Mittal.