New Delhi, Nov10(TruthDive): Railway Minister Sadananda Gowda getting shunted to Law ministry, was expected by bureaucratic circles, after the previous meeting chaired by PM to review the progress of many projects that it wanted fast tracked. Many key posts are lying vacant and those that were selected by the Railway minister was rejected by PMO citing various discrepancies.
Gowda was seen as nice soft man always smiling but never assertive with the bureaucracy. Citing an example, sources said that Gowda handpicked an Indian Railway Personnel Service officer for the key post of the Confidential branch of the Board. Despite a written order from Gowda, the Rail Bhawan did not appoint this officer.
Railways bureaucracy has a staff strength that is equal to the central government that runs the nation. It has a separate budget session and in PM Modi’s vision, railways functioning reflects the image of NDA with the mass at large. Given the fact that Gowda was CM of Karnataka would make him handle the administration easily, was found to be misplaced.
PMO had listed out 30 tasks to make the railways turnaround. In the last week meeting , PM had to give a tongue lashing as no progress was seen. Gowda got into action and convened a board meeting and that too on a national holiday to discuss about PM’s tasks listed out. Apart from not being able to fast track the turnaround, Gowda had no ideas of his own. Gowda’s twitter handle still calls him minister of railways while his successor tweeted that everybody who works in the railways should work to fulfill Modi’s dream and it was the growth engine, with him at the drivers cabin. Gowda’s last tweet was greeting Advani on his birthday.
Many simple things like Wifi in stations, pave easier way to bring FDI to big ticket projects like the loco manufacturing units in Marhaura and Madhepura. The Rail Bhawan file sent with names of undeserving persons for seven GM posts across the country to the appointment committee chaired by PM, is one of the many instances that led to Gowda being shunted out. Gowda did the next best thing to cover up his inability to think out new projects and initiatives – created a Director post for this job. The only snag was that the post came with no teeth to back it up. As things were not moving, PM’s advisor to Railway minister was seen less in Rail Bhawan. The last straw was an amendment to Railway rules, which was slammed by NDA allies in Lok Sabha and had to be sent to the Standing committee.