New Delhi, Sep 3: Piyush Goyal, who on Sunday was elevated to the rank of a Cabinet Minister in a reshuffle, was given the charge of railways while incumbent minister Suresh Prabhu was shifted to the Commerce and Industry ministry. Goyal, who was Minister of State with independent charge, held Coal and Power Ministry before his elevation.
The exit of Prabhu from the railways came after last months Muzaffarnagar train accident that claimed 23 lives. His tenure saw several accidents in the last three years, latest being two major derailments within a gap of four days. According to official data, over 370 major train accidents occurred under Prabhu's watch, including the Indore-Patna Express, Hirakhand Express derailment, the dual accidents of Kamayani and Janata Express trains and the latest Utkal Express derailment that cumulatively claimed the lives of at least 250 persons and injuring several hundred. Goyal, a Chartered Accountant by profession, has been articulate in defending the Narendra Modi government specially after the demonetisation decision. He also oversaw the BJP's publicity and advertising campaign including the social media outreach during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.