New Railway Minister yet to resume in duties

CP Joshi has been missing in action eversince took additional charge of the Railway Ministry on May 13 after Pawan Kumar Bansal was dropped following the cash for posts scam.

Joshi, said sources, visited the the railway bhavan only twice, and both visits lasted no
more than an hour.

According to ministry sources, Joshi first met railway board officials on the day he took charge. “That was purely a protocol meeting,” said an official. “It lasted no more than half an hour.” Joshi stayed in the railway bhawan for about an hour.

Board Officials told that Joshi’s next half-hour visit was on Tuesday. “No official work or files were taken up by the minister on Tuesday as well,” the official said.

His apparent lack of interest, said sources, may be because of the upcoming state assembly elections in Rajasthan in December this year, when he is expected to fight from his constituency, Bhilwara.

The other reason could be the sour experience that his last stint in the railway ministry left him, when he was forced to make way for Bansal in October 2012. Sources said Joshi expected to get full charge that time, keeping in mind the Rajasthan elections. Getting the railway ministry would have given him a boost during his election campaign.

After Tuesday, Joshi spent the next three days in Rajasthan. He will be in Panipat on Sunday, will head to Udaipur on Monday and visit his constituency on Tuesday.

In Bhilwara, Joshi will lay the foundation stone of two highway projects — the Bhim-Parsoli-Golapura and Rajsamand.

Meanwhile, the railway ministry, said officials, has been left ‘rudderless’ without proper leadership.