Published On: Wed, Aug 23rd, 2017

Prabhu offers to quit after train derails, PM asks him to wait

New Delhi: Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on Wednesday met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and offered to resign “taking full responsibility” for train accidents and said Modi had asked him to “wait”.

I am extremely pained by the unfortunate accidents, injuries to passengers and loss of precious lives

Hours after a second train derailed in four days, Prabhu called on the Prime Minister “taking full responsibility” for the state of affairs. “PM has asked me to wait,” he tweeted.

On Saturday, the Kalinga Utkal Express derailed in Muzaffarnagar district leaving 22 people dead. Even as the railways cracked down on errant officials and staff, the Kaifiyat Express derailed in Auraiya district on Wednesday injuring 74 people. Both accidents took place in Uttar Pradesh.

Though Prabhu did not specifically mention that he had offered to resign, there has been intense speculation that he may have offered to resign considering the language of his tweets.

Railway Board Chairman AK Mittal has also offered to resign in the wake of the accidents. But there was no confirmation if Mittal has quit.

“I am extremely pained by the unfortunate accidents, injuries to passengers and loss of precious lives. It has caused me deep anguish,” the Railway Minister said.

“New India envisioned by PM deserves a Railways which is efficient and modern. I promise that is the path, on which Railways is progressing now.”

Prabhu said that he had tried to overcome “decades of neglect through systemic reforms in all areas leading to unprecedented investment and milestones”.

He said in less than three years as Minister, “I have devoted my blood and sweat for the betterment of the Railways”.

A Chartered Accountant by profession, 64-year-old Prabhu — formerly in the Shiv Sena — joined the BJP in May 2014 before he was inducted into the cabinet as the Railway Minister.

Meanwhile, when Union Finance minister Arun Jaitley’s attention was drawn towards the resignation offered by Railway minister Suresh Prabhe, he said, that accountability is a good system in the government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will take a decision on the request made by Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu.

“Accountability is a good system in government,” Jaitley told reporters when he was asked about reports of an offer of resignation by Prabhu and Railway Board Chairman A K Mittal after the Muzaffarnagar train accident that claimed 22 lives.

“The Prime Minister will take a decision on the request made by Railway Minister,” he said.

 

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