Indian Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu Offers To Resign

Indian Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu has offered his resignation to the prime minister, taking moral responsibility for the two train derailments in a span of four days. Prabhu, taking responsibility for Kaifiyat Express derailment and Puri-Utkal Express derailment, announced his resignation on Twitter.

“Extremely pained by unfortunate accidents, injuries to passengers and loss of precious lives. It has caused me deep anguish,” he said, in a series of tweets. “In less than three years as Minister, I have devoted my blood and sweat for the betterment of the Railways,” Prabhu said.

“Under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi, tried to overcome decades of neglect thru systemic reforms in all areas leading two unprecedented investment and milestones, (sic)” said another post by Prabhu. He also wrote, “New India envisioned by Prime Minister deserves a Railway which is efficient and modern. I promise that is the path, on which Railway is progressing now. (sic)” 

However, Prabhu is not the first minister resign over train mishaps. Earlier, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Mamata Banerjee, and Nitish Kumar have also resigned taking moral responsibility for the accidents. 

Lal Bahadur Shastri who served as Minister of Railways from 13 May, 1952 to 7 December 1956, had quit his post taking moral responsibility for the Ariyalur train accident in Tamil Nadu. The accident, which took place in November 1956, had left 142 people dead. Shastri was hailed as the man of highest integrity by former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. Later, he went on to succeed Nehru as the second prime minister of India. 

Nitish Kumar the current Chief Minister of Bihar and chief of Janata Dal United, Nitish Kumar, was the second leader to resign as the minister of Railways owing responsibility for the Gaisal train disaster in Assam in August 1999 that had killed at least 290 people. Nitish, then part of Samata Party, served as Railway Minister from 19 March 1998 to 5 August 1999. 

Mamata Banerjee the current Chief Minister of West Bengal and chief of Trinamool Congress Mamata Banerjee, quit her post on moral grounds after two train disasters in 2000. However, Banerjee’s resignation was rejected by Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.